THE Scottish Greens will vote on whether to cut ties with its sister party in England and Wales amid an ongoing row over “transphobia” and devolution.

A motion calling on members to vote to end any association with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) has been tabled for the party’s conference in Dundee on October 15 and 16.

Guy Ingerson, who proposed the motion with the backing of the Rainbow Greens group, said the move would be symbolic but should spur officials to “root out the cancer of bigotry”.

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater face being ousted as Scottish Green leaders

He told The National: “I think it is really important to symbolise our intolerance for the kind of bigotry and undermining of our independence that we have seen from certain people in the Green Party of England and Wales. They have accompanied that with a few insults on social media as well.”

Although the GPEW’s official policies seek to expand transgender rights in the UK, in recent years the party has found itself mired in internal rows often around the comments of former deputy leader Shahrar Ali.

Ali (below), who is currently running to be the party’s deputy leader again, previously called for transgender healthcare clinic GenderGP to be prohibited from working in the UK – a move others in the party said would create barriers to transgender care.

The National:

He has also been accused of homophobia after claiming that a healthcare worker wearing a badge that identified him as gay was “unprofessional and inappropriate”.

Further members of the GPEW, including peer Jenny Jones and co-chair of Green Party Women Emma Bateman, have also been embroiled in rows after labelling the Scottish Greens a "cabal".

Ingerson went on: “It is important to say that we are not going to tolerate this. We have very limited ways to influence [the GPEW] so this is a really important way to influence them.

“I have spoken to [GPEW] members and many of them are from the LGBT+ community, and many of them are reluctantly supportive. Many of the people I have spoken to feel that it would be really important.”

The motion in full, including the preamble, reads:

6. Suspending Ties with the Green Party of England and Wales


In recent years, we have seen office-bearers of the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) engage in transphobic rhetoric and conduct. This includes a former official spokesperson submitting motions, deemed competent by the relevant GPEW body, that would deny trans people gender affirming healthcare, ignored our independence as a party, and would seek to legislate in devolved competencies. GPEW office-bearers, and an unelected legislator, have insulted our party and sought to damage our reputation regarding LGBT+ rights, women's rights, and child protection issues. Disciplinary action has been lethargic, ineffective, and inconsistent. In response, we must take this action.

Full Motion Text:

Scottish Green Party (SGP) Conference hereby suspends our formal association with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW), as referenced in section 3.13 of the SGP Constitution, with immediate effect. The suspension of this association will remain in effect until such time that action is taken that satisfies the membership of the Scottish Green Party, through Conference or SGP Council, to address both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green party, our independence as a party, and the devolution settlement.

A Scottish Greens spokesperson said: “All motions will be debated on by party members at conference this October, where we are looking forward to welcoming back attendees in person as well as those participating online.”

A GPEW spokesperson said: "The Green Party of England and Wales recognises the work we need to do to make our party more inclusive and recently commissioned advice from external consultant Diverse Matters as part of our efforts to do so.

"We value highly the relationship we hold 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, as well as women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done."