THE co-chair of the Scottish Greens executive committee has resigned citing “increased factionalism, hostility and toxicity” within the party.

An internal memo from Ellie Gomersall to fellow party members was leaked by a source to The National.

In the statement, Gomersall states that both burnout and increased tensions within the party had contributed to her decision.

She said: “It’s with great sadness and frustration that, after much thought, I have taken the difficult decision to resign from my position as Co-Chair of the party’s Executive committee, effective immediately.

“I took on this role in summer 2022 because I wanted to make a difference to the party, to help guide our strategy as we move into the most important election cycles in our party’s history, and because I wanted to help create a culture of empowerment for members, continuing to embed our culture of radical democracy into everything we do.

“Unfortunately, so much of my time in this role has been spent attempting to navigate and mediate interpersonal disputes and feuds, many of which are lingering or resurfaced disputes from long before I was even an active party member.

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“I’ve seen increased factionalism, hostility and toxicity from a small minority of members – including fellow senior office bearers – which has plagued discussions and distracted from our party’s purpose.”

She added: “Much has been spoken about in recent times of the risk of burnout faced disproportionately by women and young people in the party, and I fear that I have come dangerously close to becoming another victim of this in recent months.

“I have increasingly seen the impact this role is having on my mental health and on my friendships, and I simply have to put a stop to it.

“I hope that my resignation will not only alleviate the seepage this role has had on my personal life, but will also serve as a wake-up call to those at the top of the party that things simply have to change.”

Gomersall added that she would remain an active member of the party.

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Party co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater issued a joint response to Gomersall’s announcement to party members, thanking her for her work and adding that she was right to highlight increased factionalism within the party.

“Ellie is sadly right to say that there has been an increase in factionalism and hostile behaviour within the party.

“The recent repeated, deeply personalised and hurtful media attacks against Ross [Greer] are an example of this.

“Sadly, far too many members feel dispirited by internal issues, including consistent behaviour from a small number which falls well short of the values of the party.

“This had led to people becoming less active or even leaving the party, or simply putting up with unacceptable behaviour at the cost of their own wellbeing.

“This has affected members at all levels; in branches, on committees, and among elected Greens and staff members too. It needs to change.”

Ross Greer MSP now sits as the sole chair of the Scottish Greens executive committee until a by-election is held to replace Gomersall.