Natalie Bennett has been elected as the new leader of the Green Party for England and Wales.

Ms Bennett defeated rival candidates, Peter Cranie, Romayne Phoenix and Pippa Bartolotti, in a vote by the party's 12,4000 members.

The 45 year old Australian-born Bennett is a former journalist at The Guardian, but left that role to focus on her career in politics.

Ms Bennett will be aiming to build on the success of her predecessor, Caroline Lucas, the party's most high-profile figure who won their first seat in 2010 when she was elected MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Ms Lucas said that she stood down in order to focus on her duties as an MP and "give other people the opportunity to get well known."

In her acceptance speech, Ms Bennett stated that the party needed to grow its number of councillors and MEPs and secure "many, many more MPs" in Parliament. The new leader came fourth with 2.7 per cent of the vote when she contested the inner-London constituency Holborn and St Pancras at the 2010 general election.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner