Natalie Bennett

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Not to be confused with Naftali Bennett.
Natalie Bennett
Natalie Bennett.jpg
Leader of the Green Party of
England and Wales
Assumed office
3 September 2012
Deputy Will Duckworth
Preceded by Caroline Lucas
Personal details
Born (1966-02-10) 10 February 1966 (age 48)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Green Party of England and Wales (since 1 January 2006)
Alma mater University of Sydney
University of New England
University of Leicester

Natalie Louise Bennett (born 10 February 1966) is an Australian-born British politician and the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. She was elected to her position on 3 September 2012.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Bennett was born in Sydney.[3] She was educated on a scholarship at MLC School, an independent day school for girls in Burwood, New South Wales.[4] She then completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons) degree at the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Asian Studies at the University of New England, and a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester.[3]



Bennett started her career in journalism New South Wales, where she worked for various regional newspapers including Northern Daily Leader in Tamworth. She left Australia in 1995,[4] and lived for four years in Thailand where she worked for Australian Volunteers International in the Office of the National Commission of Women's Affairs, before moving to the Bangkok Post newspaper, where she was chief foreign sub-editor. She moved to Britain in 1999,[4] and has been writing for the Guardian's "Comment is Free" section since 2006.[5] Bennett was also a blogger.[6] She was deputy editor and then editor of The Guardian Weekly from December 2007 until March 2012. She also worked at other British newspapers, The Independent and The Times.[3]

Political career[edit]

Bennett joined the Green Party on 1 January 2006.[4] She stood for the Greens in the 2006 Camden Council election for Regent's Park ward and in the 2010 Camden Council election for Somers Town ward, but was not elected on either occasion. She was the internal communications coordinator on the national executive of the party from September 2007 to August 2011.

In January 2010, she was selected to stand for the Parliamentary seat of Holborn and St Pancras.[7] She came in fourth with 2.7% of the vote.[3] She stood in the 2012 London Assembly elections, becoming the fourth placed candidate on the London-wide list for the Green Party.[8]

Bennett, who has considered herself a feminist since she was a young child,[citation needed] founded the Green Party women's group and was a trustee of the Fawcett Society between 2010 and 2014. She became interested in environmental issues when she obtained a degree in Agricultural Sciences, becoming a member of the Green Party in 2006.[3][9]

On 3 September 2012, she replaced Caroline Lucas as leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. 3,127 ballot papers were returned in the 2012 Green Party leadership elections, a turnout of 25.1%.[1] This turnout was defended by Bennett who said in a BBC interview "if you hold an election in the month of August you kind of expect that turnout won't be particularly high".[10] Following her election as party leader Bennett told a press conference that the policies of the Green Party were "the only viable way forward for British people, for the world".[2]

In May 2014 she was selected to recontest the Parliamentary seat of Holborn and St Pancras.[11]


  • Editor, Thailand Country Study: Best Practice Guide on Sustainable Action Against Child Labour (1998) ISBN 974-8369-59-5[12]
  • Editor, Women's Health and Development, Country Profile Thailand[13]


  1. ^ a b "New Leader and Deputy Leader announcement". Green Party. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Natalie Bennett elected new Green Party leader in England and Wales. She beat three other candidates to the position in a poll of Green Party members.". BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rath, Kayte. "Profile: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Ferraro, Carmela. "Force of nature". Inside Story. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Natalie Bennett Profile". The Guardian web site (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). 2 June 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Evans, Kate (17 April 2006). "How to Run a Carnival of Feminists: Natalie Bennett". Life Matters. ABC Radio National. Retrieved 21 December 2009.  (web note of a broadcast interview)
  7. ^ "Green Party name Natalie Bennett as Holborn and St Pancras election candidate". Camden New Journal. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Green Party leader Natalie Bennett turns fire on Labour". BBC News. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "A new leader will not push the Green Party off the political fringe". The Economist. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Natalie Bennett elected as Green Party leader". BBC News (Daily Politics video). BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Natalie Bennett selected to contest Holborn and St Pancras at 2015 General Election". Green Party. 4 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Thailand Country Study Towards a Best Practice Guide on Sustainable Action Against Child Labour". International Labour Organisation. January 1998. Retrieved 12 April 2013.  (Copy of the paper on Bennett's web site)
  13. ^ "Women's Health and Development: Country Profile, Thailand:Authors". Women's Health and Development. World Health Organization. Retrieved 12 April 2013.  (Copy of the paper on Bennett's web site)

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Patrick Ensor
Editor of The Guardian Weekly
Succeeded by
Abby Deveney
Party political offices
Preceded by
Caroline Lucas
Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales