Green Party split from group at centre of trans rowPublished8 hours agoShareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty ImagesBy Sam Francis & Helen CattBBC PoliticsThe Green Party has cut official ties with one of its largest members’ groups amid a dispute over the party’s stance on sex and gender.Senior members of Green Party Women (GPW) claim the group was “disaffiliated” because of their promotion of “gender-critical views”.A Green Party spokesperson said it suspended GPW for procedural reasons.There are divisions within the Green Party about its approach to trans rights.The party’s official position is that it supports transgender people and backs making it easier to change legal sex via self-determination.But there are long-running tensions with members who hold gender-critical beliefs, which includes that a person’s sex cannot be changed.Green Party taken to court over gender-critical rowGreens may increase membership fee amid legal woesThe BBC has seen documents that show the Green Party disaffiliated the GPW for failing to run its planned Autumn 2021 committee election until January 2022. This breached party by-laws and invalidated the group’s leadership. The GPW disputes the election was held too late. The group’s former committee called the reasoning for its disaffiliation “spurious”, claiming the party has found a technical reason for a “politically motivated” attack, in a document seen by the BBC.Zoe Hatch, the GPW’s most recently elected co-chair who is currently suspended from the party, described the decision as a “convenient way for the ruling bodies to shut down the women’s group”.Emma Bateman, a former co-chair of GPW who was briefly expelled from the party, said the disaffiliation was to “demonstrate that women stepping out of line will be punished”.”Members need to grasp what is happening and challenge the way that the ruling party bodies are treating gender-critical women.”The Greens are gaining a reputation for misogyny and for a party that claims to support women’s rights, that is a disaster.”Being unaffiliated to the party means the group can no longer access party resources or bring motions at the Green Party’s annual conferences. It has also lost its place on the Green Party’s leading Political Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee.The contested election came to light after a complaint was made against the leadership of the GPW for bullying, the BBC understands.Chesca Walton, a former co-chair of the GPW, had called for the Green Party to disaffiliate the GPW, because she said it was no longer “a safe and welcoming space for all Green Party members, especially those who are trans or non-binary”.During her time as co-chair Ms Walton said she had been bullied by members of the group. In a statement she said: “I have never in my life witnessed such vile and inappropriate behaviour as I have witnessed from within Green Party Women. “Such behaviour includes dehumanisation, harassment, intimidation and gaslighting. It is important to stress that this is a tiny minority of members, but it does have a disproportionate impact on the party as a whole.”Speaking to the BBC Ms Walton said: “I’m really glad that this ruling has drawn a line under this issue and gives us all the opportunity to move on.”The Green Party said GPW will be able to re-join the party as soon as they “meet the constitutional requirements”, though did not provide a timescale of how quickly this could happen. Green Party policy The Green Party’s rights and responsibilities page states “trans men are men, trans women are women, and that non-binary identities exist and are valid”.The party also supports making it easier for trans people to change their legal status without the need for a Gender Reassignment Certificate (GRC). But there remains some tension within the membership.Some in the Green Party say policies on the rights of transgender people to access women-only spaces remain ambiguous – a key battleground in the debate around trans rights – pointing out the party supports single-sex wards in hospitals in its policy documents. The GPW was suspended as senior members were working towards establishing a Green women’s declaration – which focuses on biological sex as a basis for women’s rights.Last year, a motion by the GPW to amend the Green Party’s constitution to include protections for sex-based rights was rejected. Detractors said the way it was worded excluded trans people from protections.A member of the Green Party LGBTIQA+ group has written a motion to be debated at the group’s AGM that would have classed the gender critical movement as inherently hateful but it has since been withdrawn.Related TopicsLGBTGreen Party (England and Wales)Transgender peopleMore on this storyGreen Party taken to court over gender-critical rowPublished23 AugustGreens may increase membership fee amid legal woesPublished30 September