Green stalwart Keith Taylor has been ditched as the party's next prospective parliamentary candidate.

Councillor Taylor, the leader of the Green group on Brighton and Hove City Council, lost the right to fight as their candidate for Brighton Pavilion in a shock selection result tonight.

Instead the Greens voted in favour of MEP Caroline Lucas by 55 to 45 per cent.

The Brighton Pavilion post is widely tipped to be the party's best hope of returning the country's first Green MP at the next general election.

Dr Lucas said: "Our recent local election success in the city, coupled with the unprecedented 22 per cent share gained in the 2005 general election, places us in pole position to secure a truly historic victory."

Coun Taylor said: "I congratulate Caroline Lucas on securing the nomination to become the Green party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency at the next general election."