Hove Green councillor Alex Phillips learnt this morning that she is not her party’s new national deputy leader.
The deputy leadership was won by Will Duckworth, a councillor in Dudley in the West Midlands.
He beat Richard Mallender, who used to represent Preston Park on Brighton and Hove City Council, in a straight contest after the former Guardian, Independent and Times journalist Natalie Bennett won the leadership.
The Green Party’s balanced leadership policy means that a woman leader must have a man as deputy and vice versa.
This ruled Councillor Phillips and the only other contender, Caroline Allen, out of the running for the number two position.
The result announced today (Monday 3 September) means that Miss Bennett takes over as leader from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.
Dr Lucas, the party’s first national leader, said in May that she would step down this month at the end of her second two-year term.
She said that she wanted to “broaden opportunities for the range of talent in the party and to raise the profiles of others aspiring to election”.
Councillor Phillips was quick to congratulate Mr Duckworth via Twitter although she did not know whether he had polled more votes than her.
She said that only the men’s votes had been counted as Miss Bennett had won the leadership contest.
She added: “I’m going to continue to represent the people in Goldsmid ward and I’m looking forward to winning the second South East Green European MP seat in the 2014 elections.”
Councillor Phillips is the second name on the party list after sitting Green MEP Keith Taylor, a former Brighton councillor.
Mr Taylor took over the seat from Caroline Lucas when she won Brighton Pavilion at the last general election to become an MP at Westminster.
Miss Bennett, 46, won the leadership in a contest with three rivals – Pippa Bartolotti, Peter Cranie and Romayne Phoenix – in a ballot of the party’s 12,400 membership.
She said: “We need to not have the disastrous, economically illiterate cuts that we’re seeing now. What we need to have is investment in the future.
“We need investment in homes, investment in jobs, investment in energy conservation, renewable energy and public transport.”
She hopes to increase the number of seats held by Greens on councils and other elected bodies.
She will address her party at its autumn conference in Bristol this coming weekend (Friday 7 September to Monday 10 September).
A fortnight later the Liberal Democrats will gather in Brighton for their annual conference which runs from Saturday 22 September to Wednesday 26 September.
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