Natalie Bennett to quit as Green Party leader in August
Natalie Bennett is set to stand down as leader of the Green Party in England and Wales this August after four years in the top post.
The Greens lost four council seats in local elections earlier this month and failed to make significant progress in Wales.
Ms Bennett defended her position at the time, but has now said she will not stand for re-election for a third two-year term as leader.
She said she had been "proud to lead a party through a period of phenomenal expansion and increased impact,” adding that she would remain “fully engaged” as a member.
In a statement she said: "With the support of our passionate members and supporters we have been able to achieve much in a relatively short period.
"There's greatly increased public understanding that when you want the honest, caring, committed view - one that isn't guided by the views of the latest focus group or fear of a tabloid backlash but by fundamental principles and values."
After succeeding Green MP Caroline Lucas as leader, Ms Bennett led the party into the 2015 general election, taking part in high-profile TV debates.
Noting the self-described “brain fade” she experienced during a radio interview at the height of the campaign, she added to the Guardian following her decision to step down:
"There have been times when I got things right, and times when I got things wrong, but that's because I'm not a smooth, spin-trained, lifelong politician.
"It's both my strength and my weakness that I answer the question."
Nominations for the party leadership will open on 1 June and close on 30 June, with the result expected at the party's September conference following a one-month balloting period from 24 July.