A ROW over “transphobia” has embroiled the Scottish Greens as the party opens its internal elections.

Members of the pro-independence party, which has two ministers in the Scottish Government, will vote on various internal positions from July 19 – but one candidate in particular has caused controversy.

David Jardine, who is standing to become co-convener of the party’s Conduct and Complaints Committee, has faced accusations of engaging in “right-wing, transphobic talking points that have no place in the Scottish Greens”.

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Various groups within the party – including the Women’s Network, Young Greens, Rainbow Greens, and Trade Union Group – put in a complaint about Jardine’s nomination.

It came after he penned a statement asking for members’ votes in which he claimed the Scottish Greens had “become intolerant and exclusionary”.

Jardine (below) said that “party members have been suspended and expelled or driven out by an aggressive faction which has scapegoated folk who believe that one's sex is determined by biology”.

The National:

He accused that “faction” of having “created a hostile environment”, adding: “The core objective of Green politics is sustainability. To achieve that we need – among other things – to be a broad church, not a narrow exclusionary sect.

“The cause is urgent and we need to get along with our fellow members as we find them, not as we would like them to be.”

A complaint about Jardine’s statement, seen by The National and put in to the committee he is aiming to co-convene, claimed his words were “aggressive, threatening and prejudicial”.

“The statement is transphobic and exclusionary towards non-binary people,” it said.

It is understood that the complaint, which claimed Jardine’s statement was “likely to cause extreme offence”, was dismissed and nominations published as they were.

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One Green member told this paper that the decision to publish the nomination “with the transphobia and attacks on the party” was “the ‘party of trans rights’ throwing trans people under the bus”.

Another said that, at a hustings held on Monday, Jardine was “clearly advocating for the rights and views of Terfs (in his words), and was questioning the party's tolerance of sex-based rights. All right-wing, transphobic talking points that have no place in the Scottish Greens”.

Jardine told The National that he had not heard any mention of a complaint put in about him and seemed surprised at the number of groups to have been involved in its submission.

He said: “It is an internal election so I don’t really want to say too much about it at the moment. I will say that I find what you are telling me fascinating. I have been careful not to say anything that could be deemed transphobic.”

Jardine added: “Worse things happen at sea.”

Jardine is running against Paul Rodger and Nettie Sutherland for the one-year position as the co-convener of the complaints committee.

The internal elections will also see elections of members of the Greens’ policy committee, elections committee, standing orders committee, and members and fundraising committee, among others.

The co-leader positions, currently held by Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, are also up for election. However, the two incumbents are running unopposed.

Ballots open on Wednesday July 19 and close the following week, on July 26.

The results are to be publicly announced to members on July 28, with candidates informed the day prior.

A Scottish Greens spokesperson said: "We do not comment on internal processes or leaks. Our absolute commitment to inclusion and equality is reflected in our code of conduct and our policies. The Scottish Green Party will always stand with our LGBTQIA+ communities."