Natalie Bennett

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Natalie Bennett
Natalie Bennett.jpg
Leader of the Green Party of
England and Wales
Assumed office
3 September 2012
Deputy Will Duckworth (2012–2014)
Amelia Womack, Shahrar Ali (2014 – present)
Preceded by Caroline Lucas
Personal details
Born (1966-02-10) 10 February 1966 (age 49)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Green Party of England and Wales
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 journalist. She was elected to her position as the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales on 3 September 2012.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Bennett was born on 10 February 1966 in Sydney, Australia.[3] She was educated at MLC School, an independent day school for girls in Burwood, New South Wales.[4] She then took the degrees of Bachelor of Agricultural Science (BAgrSc Hons) at the University of Sydney, Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) in Asian Studies at the University of New England, and Master of Arts (MA) in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester.[3][5]



Bennett began her career in journalism in New South Wales, where she worked for various regional newspapers including the 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 settled in Britain in 1999, and said in a 2013 interview for the Australian Inside Story website about the country of her birth: "I can’t imagine going there by choice."[4] In Britain, Bennett has written for The Guardian '​s "Comment is Free" section since 2006.[6] Bennett was also a blogger.[7] She was deputy editor and then editor of The Guardian Weekly from December 2007 until March 2012. She has also worked for the London-based Independent and Times newspapers.[5]

Political career[edit]

Bennett joined the Green Party on 1 January 2006.[4] Later the same year she stood for the Greens in the Camden Council election in the Regent's Park ward and again in the Camden Council election of 2010 in the 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.[8] She came fourth with 2.7% of the vote.[5] She stood next in the London Assembly elections of 2012, as the fourth placed candidate on the London-wide list for the Green Party.[9]

Bennett, who has considered herself a feminist since she was a young child,[10] 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.[5]

On 3 September 2012, Bennett replaced Caroline Lucas as leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.[11] 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".[12] 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 again to contest the Parliamentary seat of Holborn and St Pancras.[13]

In February 2015, an interview with Bennett regarding the funding of house-building on the talk radio station LBC was described by her as "absolutely excruciating"[14] and was termed one of the worst political interviews ever by some publications.[15]

Exclusion from TV debates[edit]

In January 2015 Ofcom ruled to exclude Bennett and the Green Party from the televised debates surrounding the 2015 election. This ruling led to an upsurge in Green Party support after Bennett called the ruling "disgraceful and indefensible," and David Cameron claimed that he was "quite happy for there to be no debates at all" if Bennett was not included.[16][17] This decision was later reversed, after which the Green Party's support increased again.[18]


  • Editor, Thailand Country Study: Best Practice Guide on Sustainable Action Against Child Labour (1998) ISBN 974-8369-59-5[19]
  • Editor, Women's Health and Development, Country Profile Thailand[20]


  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 "BENNETT, Natalie Louise". Who's Who 2014. A & C Black. November 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Ferraro, Carmela. "Force of nature". Inside Story. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Rath, Kayte. "Profile: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Natalie Bennett Profile". The Guardian web site (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). 2 June 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ "Green Party name Natalie Bennett as Holborn and St Pancras election candidate". Camden New Journal. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Green Party leader Natalie Bennett turns fire on Labour". BBC News. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Natalie Bennett: Feminism is...
  11. ^ "A new leader will not push the Green Party off the political fringe". The Economist. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Natalie Bennett elected as Green Party leader". BBC News (Daily Politics video). BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Natalie Bennett selected to contest Holborn and St Pancras at 2015 General Election". Green Party. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Natalie Bennett admits LBC Radio interview was 'absolutely excruciating'". The Independent. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Natalie Bennett's Car Crash Interview". Huffington Post. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "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)
  20. ^ "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