THE Alba Party has been rocked by the resignation of a prominent member after a row over gender recognition.

Eva Comrie, who was one of the early defectors to the party from the SNP, has quit as Alba’s equalities convener following a fierce internal row.

She branded Yvonne Ridley, the party’s women’s convener, a “fraud” for saying that trans women were women who had been “assigned male at birth”.

In a now-deleted tweet, Ridley added: “Trans women have a female gender identity and may experience gender dysphoria.”

This is at odds with Alba policy on gender recognition, which emphasises biological sex as the key difference between men and women.

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In a message to party members, Alba leader Alex Salmond announced that Ridley was stepping back from her role as women’s convener.

He wrote: “Although Yvonne deleted her tweets and apologised for her mistake, the online stramash continued. As a result she is very distressed.

“It has been our established tradition in Alba, that when someone makes an online error of judgement (which happens not infrequently) they have the opportunity to apologise and withdraw their tweet.

“This is on the basis that everyone makes mistakes and also, and this is something I was taught a very long time ago, about those who cast the first stone. After an apology is made the matter is then closed.

“Although of course, I understand the strength of feeling on this cardinal aspect of Alba policy, I do not wish to depart from that important principle. You can be assured, however, that Alba policy on sex-based rights is and will remain clear and in future will be clearly expressed.”

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Ash Regan has been drafted in to fill Ridley’s former position, he added.

Addressing Comrie’s resignation, Salmond added: “I regret this and thank Eva for her considerable contribution.”

The National understands that in recent months Alba Party’s General Secretary Chris McEleny has been initiating disciplinary action against members who have posted what the party considered to be unacceptable comments on social media.

This has included members being suspended for their online conduct.

McEleny said: “Alba Party are looking forward to the General Election and a key part of that is to encourage people to take their focus off of social media and get out and talk to the people of Scotland with the Alba Party message.

“I am grateful to all who have assisted the party in its early years and wish those that continue to campaign for independence well.”

David Henry, who stood for the party in the council elections in 2022, said: “Very sad to see so many who made the [Alba Party] a force for good resigning from the party.”