THE Scottish Greens have spoken out after Andy Wightman criticised the party's position on transgender and equalities issues.

The respected land reform campaigner quit the party late last year.

He has accused the party of censoring its members and branding them bigots for asking questions about its policies over questions of sex, gender and service delivery.

Wightman left the Greens in the wake of a Scottish Parliament vote about whether or not victims of sex crimes should be able to specify the sex or gender of the person who examines them.

MSPs supported changes brought forwards by Labour's Johann Lamont to allow an individual's sex to be stated, rather than the gender they identify with.

All Green and LibDem MSPs opposed this, and Wightman resigned shortly afterwards.

Now in a lengthy interview with Holyrood magazine, he's accused the leadership of taking an anti-science position, having a "very, very censorious attitude" towards members who question its stance and being unwilling to "tolerate dissent".

READ MORE: Andy Wightman quits 'censorious' Scottish Greens over transgender row

He told the magazine: "In my party, there is a very, very censorious attitude.

"Key people in the party have got some ideas about gender and sex that are not rooted in science and have moved to a space where sex doesn’t matter, and indeed, the minute you talk about it, you’re accused of being a bigot and a transphobe, which is, obviously, ridiculous.

"So, yes, words have been bent and twisted to mean things that I don’t quite understand and there’s been lots of strange things said.

"Sex not being binary, that’s one, and I’ve privately asked what this is all about and if I don’t understand this, whatever are voters meant to think about this, and I haven’t got any answers."

Emphasising his commitment to green politics, he went on: "I was speaking to some colleagues in the party, longstanding ones, who’ve said there are quite a lot of people who’ve got some disquiet about elements of this debate, which is not what you would say a core policy, but it has never come to a head for them. Well, it came to a head for us that Thursday in Parliament, and we had a choice, and, in my view, we made the wrong choice. I made the wrong choice.

"I know there are people in the party who have very, very fixed views on this and do not tolerate dissent."

The Scottish Greens has repeatedly underlined its commitment to LGBTI+ rights. It says it will not debate trans and non-binary people's "right to exist" amidst discussion "where one side is harmfully trying to repress the rights of another".

Responding to Wightman's comments, spokesperson for the party said: "The Scottish Greens will defend the rights of the most marginalised groups, including trans people, who increasingly are vilified as a threat.

The National:

"Our position has been driven by the grassroots members and drawn up by Rainbow Greens and our Women’s Network, and decided democratically by our members at conference. Both groups offered to discuss this with Andy and he was offered mediation."

It's understood that Wightman may stand as an independent candidate in May.

Meanwhile, Teddy Hope, a transgender officer for the SNP's LGBT wing Out for Indy has accused that party of being a "core hub for transphobia" in Scotland in an interview with The Herald.

Hope, who identifies as non-binary, has accused the party of inaction over a complaint raised about prejudice and has left the party.

READ MORE: SNP's Caroline McAllister says ‘Women’s Pledge has no intention of bringing down FM’

The SNP says it is still investigating the complaint and there is "no room for transphobia" within its organisation.