GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett has officially launched Darlington’s branch of the political group.

Ms Bennett met dozens of members and addressed a public meeting at Bondgate Methodist Church Hall in the town yesterday evening (Thursday, September 17).

Her appearance marked the official launch of Darlington’s Green Party, which has seen a rapid growth in membership and now sports around 100 members.

The meeting addressed global pressures and local responses, including the refugee crisis as climate change.

Green Party member Martin Wood said: “It went extremely well – I think we had about 100 people there for the public meeting.

“We had a question and answer session where obviously the issue of our relationship with the Labour party following the election of Jeremy Corbyn came up as a topic for discussion.

“She spoke of how she welcomed the shift in the direction of the party and the success of the SNP in Scotland.

“We also had Jo Adams who organised the 999 Call for the NHS campaign, so there was some discussion about the increasing privatisation of the NHS and the Green Party’s commitment to keeping it in public ownership and control.”

When asked why the Green Party had become so popular in Darlington, he said he believed people had become frustrated with the direction of the Labour party, although welcomed the election of Jeremy Corbyn.

He added: “The Green Party also has a commitment to tackling some of the serious environmental issues which some of the other parties are completely ignoring.”