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Mon, 22 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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Eight Green Party Members Expelled in Alleged Gender Critical Purge

5 min read

Eight members of the Green Party, including one former councillor, claim to have been expelled from the party for expressing gender critical views.

This week, eight members received a letter notifying them of their expulsion from the party. The letter claimed they had broken a clause of the party constitution which prohibits members from campaigning for someone who is standing against a Green Party candidate.

Seven of the eight members expelled had supported the campaign of Alison Teal, who was suspended from the Green Party in 2022 for arguing that sex is a biological characteristic which cannot change over time. She is now running as an Independent in Sheffield Central at the General Election.

However, with six of the eight expelled previously signing the Green Women’s Declaration, which advocates for women as a sex, and three as current or former members of the Green Party Women Committee, those expelled saw this as “a fundamental attack on women who defend their sex-based rights”.

A statement by the Green Women’s Declaration following the expulsions said “the Green Party has no agreed definition for ‘campaigning’ and some of the expelled did as little as sharing social media posts acknowledging a candidacy.”

It added: “At least 17 signatories to the Green Women’s Declaration have now been expelled or suspended, mirroring the actions of the Scottish Green Party who expelled 14 members for signing our sister declaration.”

A Green Party spokesperson told PoliticsHome: "We cannot comment on individual cases. As is the case in any political party, campaigning for a non-Green Party candidate is incompatible with membership". 

Teal was suspended from the Green Party in 2022 while the party’s candidate in Sheffield Central. However, she said the Green Party selected a replacement candidate without deselecting her first. “My replacement wasn't selected according to the constitution and the processes and procedures laid down in the constitution. So are they the actual candidate anyway?” she told PoliticsHome.

Emma Bateman, a former long-standing chair of Green Party Women, has been expelled from the party three times over what she describes as wanting to "make it possible for women to talk about their sex based rights in the Green Party”.

She told PoliticsHome: “The interpretation of campaigning has been really stretched, because I'm sure you remember that Alison Teal was the prospective parliamentary candidate, and then she was ousted at the last minute because she'd been on a no fault suspension for a long time.

“So some people would say that she is still the officially selected candidate because her replacement was done in a dodgy fashion”.

Green Party parliamentary candidates (left to right) Sian Berry, Carla Denyer, Adrian Ramsay and Ellie Chowns (Alamy)

On the same day of the expulsions a letter was sent by the Free Speech Union to the Green Party Executive Committee – which includes co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay – highlighting “the handling of wider issues pertaining to sex and gender” within the Green Party as a problem which may be “systemic to the party”.

The letter was written on behalf of two Free Speech Union members and former Green Party Women chairs, Zoe Hatch and Jude English. English was previously suspended as a Bristol Green Party councillor in March for expressing gender critical views, meaning she is no longer a member of the party. She claimed she received a no fault suspension to prevent her from standing as a candidate.

While PoliticsHome previously reported the Green Women’s Declaration “were considering” taking legal action, English now said that with “about 20 people who have had their membership of a political party denied purely on the grounds of their belief”, they are “now at the point where we report to the EHRC [Equality and Human Rights Commission]”.

English was expelled this week for retweeting three tweets in support of Teal. However, English claims she is technically no longer a Green Party member so cannot be expelled.

She said: “I've been expelled with no disciplinary process. The reason they think they can do this with no disciplinary process is because I campaigned against another Green Party candidate in Sheffield.

“But I am not a member of the Green Party at this point, so that can't be used. So we have to go back to the original complaint, which was the complaint about my gender critical beliefs which originally expelled me on 16 March.

“What it really makes clear is this is just a process where they've got a list of people, and they’re just going: ‘[let’s do] anything we can do to get rid of these people outside out of our party’”.

English said her expulsion was evidence that members of the Green Party Regional Council, which oversees disciplinary processes, are “just shooting down anyone left, right and centre” who disagrees with gender identity ideologies within the party.

Teal added that two of those expelled this week had actually resigned from the party two weeks ago, and this had been acknowledged by the party. However, she said the expulsions carried a stipulation that the person cannot rejoin the party for five years, which could be why they were still enforced.

“If they've stipulated that five year cooling off period, or whatever it is they want to call it, then they keep these people out of the party, because they don't want people in the party that believe in the materiality of the importance of sex”, she said. 

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