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Caroline Lucas MP returns as Green Party co-leader

Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, has been elected leader of the Green Party.

It'll be her second spell in charge, but this time there's a difference.

From the Green Party conference in Birmingham, Phil Hornby reports.


Parliament delays Lucas's bid to renationalise the rail service

She's one of many Sussex commuters fed up with the standards of service of our trains but she has a bit more clout than the average commuter - and today she set about using it.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has launched a Parliamentary Bill proposing the renationalisation of the rail network. She says it would reduce fares, improve punctuality and save taxpayers a billion pounds a year. Andy Dickenson reports.

The Department for Transport have now issued a statement for this report.

They said: "We are determined to make journeys better and it is unacceptable that customers are not always receiving the service they deserve.

"We believe that franchising provides the best way to improve services and closely monitor the performance of all train companies - and offer them incentives to meet targets."

Green MP calls for PSHE to be compulsory in schools

The Green MP for Brighton and Hove, Caroline Lucas says Personal, Social and Health Education, known as PSHE, should be legally required to be taught in schools.

The subject, which includes sex education, is included in a cross-party bill which she presented to Parliament today.

Brighton halts the region's 'Tory tide'

Only in one part of the south east was the Tory tide halted - Brighton.

Andy Dickenson reports on how the Greens and Labour meant that the night wasn't quite a Conservative clean sweep.

We hear from new MP Peter Kyle, Labour winner in Hove, and the Green MP Caroline Lucas of Brighton Pavilion.

Caroline Lucas: 'our voting system is broken'

The re-elected MP for Brighton Pavilion, the former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has called for a reform of the voting system.

The politician held on to the Green Party's only parliamentary seat, winning 22,871 votes in the Brighton Pavilion constituency. However, more than a million people cast votes for Green candidates - Ms Lucas says that means there is something wrong with our voting system and she called for electoral reform, saying she would ally herself with other parties or organisations calling for change - including UKIP which also has just one MP after winning more than 3.7 million votes.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas making her declaration speech after retaining Brighton Pavilion seat

"I think it's a real travesty over a million people voted Green up and down the country and yet that's been translated into just one seat.

"I'm feeling fairly confident that as a result of what we've seen tonight there will be a real movement outside of Parliament, a real anger for people wanting voting reform."

– Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion MP


Brighton MP to listen to those who use cannabis as pain relief

Brighton MP Caroline Lucas is to listen to arguments put forward by a group in favour of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

She speak at tonight's launch meeting of the United Patients Alliance and hear evidence about why the drug can be of benefit to those with health issues.

There is an ongoing debate about the use of cannabis to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and provide pain relief.

Guest speakers and medical cannabis patients will talk at the event on how the drug has improved their quality of life. It takes place at the Brighthelm Centre at 7.30pm.

Ms Lucas, the Green party MP for Brighton Pavilion backs a carefully regulated assessment into cannabis being permitted for medicinal purposes.

She said: "It’s vital that drugs policy is driven by an evidence based approach and I look forward to hearing more about the evidence about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, which has looked at the experience of some states in the US, where there has been regulated supply to meet medical need under strict regulation."

– Brighton MP Caroline Lucas

Also speaking at the event, Professor David Nutt, who has campaigned for Dutch style cannabis cafes. He thinks if they were introduced, it would lower the nation's alcohol problem.

Brighton MP CarolineLucas Credit: PA

Judge retires in Brighton MP fracking case

The judge has retired to consider his verdicts in the trial of a Brighton MP who was charged after staging an anti-fracking demonstration.

Green MP Caroline Lucas was arrested outside the building of the energy company Cuadrilla in West Sussex last August.

She was part of a group of protesters who had linked arms around the site.

During the trial at Brighton Magistrates' Court alongside her four co-defendants, Lucas said she "wanted to express solidarity" by protesting peacefully.

She denies two charges - wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act which required protesters to use a designated protest area nearby

Verdicts are due to be delivered from 2pm.

Verdict on Caroline Lucas MP today

Caroline Lucas MP in court in Brighton today Credit: PA

She was among a group of protesters who'd linked arms outside the site, during an anti-fracking protest last summer.

During the trial at Brighton Magistrates' Court alongside her four co-defendants, Lucas said she "wanted to express solidarity" by protesting peacefully.

The 53-year-old told the court that she felt it was important to protest about fracking in a bid to prevent the UK being locked into using more fossil fuels.

"And I want to do all I can do peacefully to address that before it's too late.''

Lucas told the trial that governments were failing to urgently address the issues surrounding climate change.

She denies two charges - wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.

Josef Dobraszczyk, 22, from Bristol; Ruth Jarman, 50, from Hook, Hampshire; Sheila Menon, 42, from London; and Ruth Potts, 39, from Devon, also deny both charges.

Jarman is expected to give evidence this morning.

District Judge Tim Pattinson is due to return verdicts on all five defendants this afternoon.

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