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Green Party launches 'Standing up for migrants' mug

The Green Party has responded to Labour's controversial 'Controls on immigration' slogan mugs with a version of their own, bearing the words "Standing up for migrants".

The Labour Party was mocked by some Twitter users for its £5 Pledge 4 Mug and even the party's own former frontbencher Diane Abbot branded the move "shameful" and an "embarrassment".

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna insisted Labour was not using "dog whistle" tactics over the immigration election merchandise.

But Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett accused Labour of "pandering to Ukip" with the mugs, as she launched her party's rival design:

However, the party did clarify on its website that its £5 mug was "Exact design TBC" as it tweeted what appeared to be a mock-up.

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General election TV debate: Leaders given podium line-up

The all-important podium plan for Thursday's night's general election debate on ITV has been announced.

Prime Minister and the Green Party's Natalie Bennett have been allocated spots at either end of the line-up of party leaders.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage is set to be sandwiched between Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

ITV can confirm that lots have been drawn today to determine the podium order for The ITV Leaders' Debate.

As a result of the drawing of lots the leaders will appear on set, left to right, as follows - Natalie Bennett, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Ed Miliband, Leanne Wood, Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron.

– ITV spokeswoman

Green Party: People are desperate for a change

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has appealed for the support of voters "sick of business-as-usual politics".

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett Credit: PA

Kicking off formal campaigning, she claimed the Greens are the "only party" offering economic changes that work for "everyone, not just those at the top."

This general election is the closest in a generation.

It's clear that people are sick of business-as-usual politics, and desperate for change.

The Green Party represents a real alternative to the politics and economics espoused by establishment politicians for decades.

– Natalie Bennett

Green Party pledges free social care for all over 65s

Social care for all over 65s would be free under the Green Party, leader Natalie Bennett has announced.

In a speech to the party's spring conference in Liverpool, Bennett said the policy would become a manifesto pledge because it was vital in a "decent, humane" society.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett addresses the party conference. Credit: ITV News

A vote for the Greens would be a vote for "hope not fear"', she told the audience.

"This election can be a turning point in history. The moment where we can deliver a better Britain, a Britain which works for its people. A Britain which cares," she said.

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Poll: Greens mostly likely to be seen as 'amateurish'

The ITV News Index poll was carried out by ComRes. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The Green Party is most likely to be associated by the British public as "idealistic" and "amateurish", according to the latest ITV News Index poll.

The survey of 2,013 British adults suggests just 9% associated the Greens with the phrase "a serious party of Government".

41%
would described the Green Party as "idealistic"
35%
thought the phrase "amateurish" applies to the Green Party

The ITV News Index poll was carried out by ComRes between 27 February and 1 March.

Greens: PM has shown contempt for the electorate

The Green Party said David Cameron has shown "contempt" for the electorate after he issued a "final offer" to broadcasters over the TV leaders' debates.

A Green Party spokesman said David Cameron is ' scared of scrutiny'. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

A spokesman for the Greens said: "Not only is Cameron's announcement cowardly but it also shows his contempt for the electorate.

"People want to see a set of debates between all major party leaders, yet the Prime Minister is clearly scared of scrutiny."

Greens say it 'should not be a crime' to join IS or Al Qaida

The leader of the Green party has stated that supporting or joining terrorist groups like Islamic State and Al-Qaida should not be a crime.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett says people should not be punished for their opinions. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Speaking on BBC's Daily Politics show, Natalie Bennett said that people should be free to think what they want and support who they want, though warned that anyone inciting or committing acts of violence would still feel the "full extent of the law".

"What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe," she said.

Bennett also spoke about plans to reduce the army - replacing it with a smaller home defence force.

She added that the Greens would progressively ease immigration controls.

"What we have to do is stop the race to the bottom on immigration rhetoric that we have been hearing, led by Ukip and sadly followed by the other [parties]," she said.

Broadcasters 'have joined age of multi-party politics'

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has welcomed reports her party will be included in the election debates hosted by ITV and the BBC.

She said the broadcasters have "joined the the age of multi-party politics".

Natalie Bennett said she welcomed the Broadcasters revised leaders' debates proposals Credit: Max Nash/PA Wire

The political landscape is fracturing and fewer and fewer people want the business-as-usual politics offered by the traditional Westminster parties.

This is the Green Spring.

The broadcasters much-needed re-think means that our policies that can bring real change to Britain - from bringing the railways back in to public hands to a £10 minimum wage by 2020 to zero university tuition fees – will now be heard far more widely

The Green Party would like to thank everyone who contributed to the tremendous #InviteTheGreens campaign that I am sure had an impact on this outcome.

– Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader
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