Greens suspend ties with sister party in England and Wales over ‘transphobia’
THE Scottish Greens have voted to suspend ties with the Green Party in England and Wales.
Members attending the second day of the party conference in Dundee overwhelmingly backed a motion this afternoon to suspend formal association with their sister party to address issues of “transphobia” and “disrespect for the devolution settlement”.
The motion was submitted by the Scottish Greens LGBT+ group, the Rainbow Greens – and claimed office holders of GPEW have engaged in “transphobic rhetoric and conduct”.
It called for the Scottish Greens to suspend the “formal association” between the two parties, and for this to continue until “effective action” has been taken to “address both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green Party”.
Guy Ingerson, who proposed the motion, told members: “In the preamble you will have read numerous examples where office bearers of GPEW former, and some current, have engaged in transphobic abuse both online and in real life.
“I think it is really important that we send a message to them that we will not associate with transphobic bigotry, we will not associate with homophobic bigotry and we will not have the devolution settlement disrespected.”
He said the Rainbow Greens had worked with colleagues in GPEW for three years to ‘sort this out’ with action plans drawn up but not implemented.
Mr Ingerson went on to say that the motion should be seen as ‘a tool’ in make progress and it was hoped ties would be made again with the GPEW.
“I hope next year we will be able to lift the suspension as progress will have been made,” he said.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie told members he was not going to speak either for or against the motion.
“I just am really concerned that we get a shared understandin of what this means, if it passes, and in particular, the phrase ‘formal association.
“I have also heard people say leave or separate or even dissaffiliate. There are no such formal ties between our parties. We are fully separate parties….Can I ask everybody to be really careful about the language you use to describe this as we’ve always had this issue of people not understanding that we are a fully separate party.”
Mr Harvie went on to ask what it would mean in terms of whether the two parties media teams could work together and whether informal conversations could take place between the co-leaders of the Scottish Greens and those of the GPEW.
Mr Ingerson said the motion related to a very specific clause in the party’s constitution relating to its relationship with the GPEW and that dialogue could still take place between the two parties.
He added it was of symbolic value and was being used to restate “our intolerance of intolerance”.
A Green Party spokesperson said: “The Green Party of England and Wales values highly our relationship with our sister party, the Scottish Greens, and we are proud of the aims and values that we share in furthering Green policies across the UK.
“The Green Party of England and Wales is clear that trans rights are human rights and we are proud of our strong policies on trans inclusion.
“It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all – that means campaigning for the rights of trans people, women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done.”