Born and raised in Australia, Natalie Bennett began her career as a journalist with regional newspapers in New South Wales before leaving in 1995 for Thailand, where she worked for Australian Volunteers International and the Bangkok Post newspaper over the next four years. In 1999 she settled in Britain where she wrote for the Guardian, Independent and Times newspapers, before becoming editor of the Guardian Weekly.
Natalie has considered herself a feminist since the age of five, claiming that it was her “first politics”. She joined the Green Party in 2006, after a New Year’s resolution to “do something” about the state of the world. Her election as leader of the Greens came six years after that.
Natalie is gently outspoken – in favour of abolishing the monarchy, supporting the Green Party policy of an economic and cultural boycott of Israel, and arguing that Britain should cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
In 2012, she replaced Caroline Lucas as leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, telling the press conference that followed that the policies of the Green Party were “the only viable way forward for British people, for the world”.
In January 2015 Ofcom ruled to exclude the Green Party from the televised debates surrounding the 2015 election, on the grounds that, “The party has not demonstrated significant past electoral support in General Elections.” This ruling led to an upsurge in Green Party support after Natalie called the ruling “disgraceful and indefensible,” and David Cameron claimed that he was “quite happy for there to be no debates at all” if the Green Party was not included. This decision was later reversed, after which the Green Party’s support increased again. The seven-way debate ultimately took place on 2 April, with Natalie Bennett present.
Today, Natalie is the Green prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central.