Caroline Lucas will not run for a third time when her current two-year term as Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales ends in September. Her decision was announced in a press release on the Green Party website, and she discusses it in an exclusive interview in tomorrow’s Independent.

Caroline served as Female Principal Speaker of the party from 2001-2006, when she was succeeded by London Mayoral candidate Siân Berry. Caroline returned to the office in 2007. In 2008, when the Principal Speaker system was abolished, Caroline became the party’s first ever Leader.

Caroline’s leadership has seen her elected as the first Green MP, Greens take control of their first council (Brighton and Hove which includes Caroline’s Brighton Pavilion Constituency), and overtake the Lib Dems to become London’s third party.

In the party’s statement, Caroline said:

I look forward to continuing to do all I can in my very demanding role as the MP for Brighton Pavilion, representing my constituents and defending them against the Coalition Government’s disastrous economic policies and its refusal to accept its environmental and social responsibilities. I will also be able to dedicate even more of my work to the political frontline, putting the Green case for change in Parliament and in all circles of national political debate.

After a long period of focus on making a beachhead in Parliament ended in success two years ago, the new leader will be charged with shaping the party’s next goals and delivering on them, including expanding European representation beyond the South-East and London in 2014, and capitalising on Caroline’s victory to add more Green MPs in 2015.

Who would you like to see run to succeed Caroline? What should be the priorities for the new leader? Is it time for our first team of Co-Leaders? Please comment below.