Following the dramatic announcement that Caroline Lucas would not be seeking re-election after the end of her second term, the Green Party has announced that Natalie Bennett will be taking charge of the Green Party after a significant victory at the polling station.

Commenting on her appointment, Bennett said: “I am honoured by the party’s support and very pleased to take on the responsibility of helping us all to move towards promoting our vision of a radical new economic and environmental vision for Britain and electing many more councillors, MEPs and MPs around the country.

“I take the responsibility the party has given me extremely seriously and, as laid out in my plan for leadership, I have a concrete program of work to start on straight away on top of commitments like this weekend’s party conference, press work and the newly formed national executive.”

Will Duckworth was also confirmed as Deputy Leader of the Green Party following a narrow victory over Richard Mallender. Duckworth commented: “The next two years will be crucial for us. With important local elections due in 2013 and a great opportunity to increase our number of MEPs the year after I am looking forward to lending my support and enthusing members and voters alike, wherever possible.

“As this Government's disastrous economic policies continue to hit the least well-off the hardest we will show that we have not only viable, but attractive social and economic alternatives to the ConDem's cuts and Labour's slightly watered-down version. I intend to make the most of being in the position of being able to communicate this to an ever widening audience.”

On the departing Caroline Lucas, Bennett said: “Caroline as our first MP will remain a huge national figure, and I look forward to working with her and learning from her experience. I’m also very much looking forward to visiting the growing Green groups around the country, from Brighton, where we are running our first council, to our strongholds of Norwich and Lancaster, the growing force of Solihull and the impressive Bristol party.”

Natalie Bennett has not taken long to settle into her position as the Leader of the Green Party, launching a scathing attack on the Government reshuffle saying: “There might be a reshuffle but the public are still being dealt a bad hand.”

She continued: “There's much excitement in the media now about the reshuffle, but the fact is that nothing significant is changing. George Osborne, the man who is clinging to the utterly discredited 'Plan A' of ideologically driven spending cuts, which are damaging the British economy and causing suffering and disruption in communities across the UK, is still in place. (That's despite the fact that even the IMF is saying this is the wrong direction.)

“There's no sign of a government U-turn towards the investment that we urgently need to create jobs and provide the homes, public transport and sustainable energy infrastructure necessary to meet community needs and build a Britain fit for the low-carbon future.”