IT is “right” to say that the Scottish Greens are seeing an increase in hostility within the party, its co-leaders have said.

Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, who are also the Greens’ ministers in government, made the assertion in a joint statement issued after the resignation of one of the chairs of the party’s executive committee.

Ellie Gomersall quit her role at the top of the Greens in a message sent to members on Tuesday evening.

In the statement seen by The National, Gomersall stated that both burnout and increased tensions within the party had contributed to her decision.

READ MORE: 'Transphobia' row embroils Scottish Greens as internal elections open

“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 wrote.

Gomersall, who also serves as the president of the National Union of Students Scotland, added: “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.”

In a statement issued in reply, Slater and Harvie conceded it was “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 MSP] are an example of this,” they went on.

The National: Scottish Greans co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater at the Scottish Greens party conference

“This should be a great time to be involved with the Scottish Greens. We have more elected Greens at national and local levels than ever, we are at a consistently high polling average, and most importantly we are achieving political change on a scale we've never done before. All of this is thanks to all of your work in taking our message out to the voters, and in collectively shaping and endorsing the agreement which brought us into Government.

“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 has 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.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson takes aim at Scottish Government at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

In late November, former Scottish Green leader and MSP Robin Harper, who quit the party over the summer, called for a change of leadership amid the launch of the “Scottish Green women’s declaration”.

The declaration, which was signed by a small number of Green members, activists and former election candidates, raised concerns that “voices speaking up for women’s hard won sex-based rights are being silenced in the Scottish Green Party”.

A spokesperson for the Greens dismissed Harper's declaration, saying: “No such group is known to nor affiliated to the Scottish Greens.

“We support the rights of our trans siblings and stand against all forms of prejudice.”