On Sunday 16th October, the Scottish Green Party voted overwhelmingly to suspend its ties with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) over institutional transphobia.
At the Scottish Green Party’s conference in Dundee, the party membership voted to suspend this affiliation.
The suspension will continue until ‘effective action’ is taken.
The motion was proposed by Guy Ingerson on behalf of the Rainbow Greens, the party’s LGBTQ+ group.
Ingerson said ‘I think it is really important that we send a message to them that we will not associate with transphobic bigotry’.
This is an escalation of a long running conflict with GPEW over the issue of transphobia.
The issue centres around Shahrah Ali, former Deputy of the party, who released a statement on Twitter in July 2020 stating his definition of women as people ‘genetically…typified by two XX chromosomes’, a definition which excludes and marginalises transgender women.
Ali was removed from his role as spokesperson for Policing and Domestic Policy in February 2022 due to breaches of the Speakers Code of Conduct.
Ingerson claims that GPEW’s disciplinary action regarding transphobia has been ‘lethargic, ineffective and inconsistent’.
GPEW is the Scottish Green Party’s ‘sister party’, meaning that they are independent party bodies but align themselves together due to shared ideologies and political orientations.
Whilst the suspension of ties will not prevent informal collaborations on shared campaigns, the decisive action reaffirms the Scottish Greens position on the issue of transphobia and takes punitive measures against their sister party, encouraging them to reform.
A spokesperson for GPEW responded to the motion.
They said ‘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.’
They said that GPEW ‘values highly’ their relationship with the Scottish Greens, and that they ‘look forward to one day re-establishing ties with them’.
Shahrah Ali responded to the Scottish Greens motion on Twitter, in which he claims that the party’s only ‘major problem with “transphobia”’ is the ‘smear campaign’ he alleges he was subject to for his attacks on trans rights.
LGBTQIA+ Greens (of GPEW) also responded on Twitter: ‘We are saddened by this decision. But we completely understand why… We will continue to fight transphobia. We will win.’