Key pledges: Greens vow to end austerity, tackle climate change and re-nationalise the railways

Green Party key pledges Credit: ITV News

The Green Party has pledged to end the "disastrous" policy of austerity, including welfare cuts, with a "caring" election manifesto designed to spark a "peaceful political revolution".

Launching the manifesto, leader Natalie Bennett celebrated news that Green Party membership now stands at more than 59,000 - more than either the Liberal Democrats or Ukip.

She called for the "restoration of the public realm", combined with investment in renewable energy and conservation, which she claimed could create one million "quality, stable" jobs in the public sector.

Around 400,000 of those jobs would be in the NHS and social care, she said.

The living wage would, she said, rise to £10 an hour by 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of money being ploughed into private firms involved in the health service would be reduced to zero, in a bid to protect the NHS.

All of the Green policies centred on the need to tackle climate change, she added, with "exciting plans" in their manifesto to cut carbon emissions while tackling fuel poverty.

Some £45 billion would go into ending the "national scandal" that is the "cold homes" crisis, and a citizen's pension would be launched to lift retired people out of poverty.

Green candidate for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, said the party would support a Labour government on a "case by case" basis, and would stick to their guns on issues such as welfare cuts.