Patrick Harvie calls for Green Party of England and Wales to expel Shahrar Ali
In an unprecedented move, the co-leader of the Scottish Green Party – Patrick Harvie – has called for a candidate for the deputy leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales to be expelled from the party. Harvie accused Shahrar Ali of ‘undermining’ LGBTIQA+ equality, and said that political parties must do more to challenge anti-LGBTIQA+ prejudice. Harvie said,
The last few years have seen a frightening rise in anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice, especially transphobia. Today again, it’s leading to direct attacks by people who would gleefully welcome the demise of a prominent LGBTQ+ human rights organisation. Organisations of all kinds, but especially media and all political parties, must do more to challenge this prejudice instead of fanning the flames. For parties – including Greens – this clearly must involve expelling members who undermine LGBTQ+ equality.
Harvie made the extraordinary move following recent comments Ali made in response to a Tweet from the LGBTIQA+ rights organisation Stonewall.
On July 22, Stonewall tweeted, “Research suggests that children as young as 2 recognise their trans identity”, continuing by saying, “LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming education is crucial for the wellbeing of all young people!” Ali claimed that this was an “off the scale safeguarding risk”, and asked, “would we teach 2 year olds [the] concept of schizophrenia?”. He went on to brand Stonewall an “utter disgrace” and a “danger to children”.
Harvie’s intervention comes at a time when the Scottish Greens are set to debate a motion which would formally cut the party’s ties with the Green Party of England and Wales. The motion alleges that office holders of the latter have engaged in “transphobic rhetoric and conduct”, and its proposers have accused the party of “complicity on transphobia”.
Following news of the motion, a spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales said, “The Green Party of England and Wales values highly the relationship we hold with our sister party, the Scottish Greens and we are proud of the aims and values that we share in furthering Green policies across the UK”, adding, “It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all – that means campaigning for the rights of trans people, as well as women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done.”
Ali has long faced allegations from party members of making transphobic comments. This accelerated following his appointment as the Green Party of England and Wales’ policing and domestic safety spokesperson in 2021. Six weeks after his appointment, the party’s official youth and student wing – the Young Greens – called for his removal. In February 2022, he was removed as a party spokesperson as a result of what the chair of the party’s executive said were “breaches of the Speakers’ Code of Conduct”.
Ali has consistently denied he is transphobic or has made transphobic comments.
Bright Green approached Ali for comment on this article. He had not responded by the time of publication.
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Image credit: Ric Lander – Creative Commons
When I first read BRIGHT GREEN I applauded it and started to financially support it. But lately it has become rather a mixture of in general support for that faction in our party which supports the trans extremists who want self ID and the elimination of same sex spaces. It supports the labelling of people who do not support this view as transphobes. I am not surprised Shahrah Ali does not respond to what is now an organ for transgender extremism. I have discontinued my financial support. To make it quite clear, I support the elimination of discrimination against trans people. Over the last 40 years I have released several sympathetic films shown on mainstream T.V. about their problems.
Disappointed with these comments from Patrick. If the Scottish Green Party feels it has the right to dictate who can be a member of the GPEW, it is probably better for ties to be cut.
To be fair, it is stonewall undermining lgbtiq rights here by claining such nonsense about two year olds. Maybe the author should get off twitter and investigate what 2 year olds know.
Spoiler: They won’t know what ‘schizophrenia’ is either, particularly as this concept us just as contested.
Sadly Ali is not alone in dismissing trans rights and not all transphobic people in the party are honest and open about it. Ali is clearly unprepared to show any compassion or interest in engaging with people whose views differ from his which makes intelligent debate about these issues difficult to say the least.
Debate? Intelligent debate ? You could be suspended from the party to suggest that might be the way forward…
As a member of the Green Party I am shocked by this article which seems to support the Stonewall position on transing toddlers. It is at best batshit crazy, more likely dangerous – as Ali says. And it does nothing to support trans rights.
The Green Party seems to have swallowed gender ideology in its entirety – and fail to see that this is out of step with the majority of the membership, never mind acknowledging that it is often misogynistic, and undermines womens rights, gay and lesbian rights and support for trans rights.
Don’t you dare imply you are in favour of trans rights. You claim “gender ideology” undermines support for trans rights- but there is no such thing as gender ideology. Trans people exist. That is not ideology, that is fact.
Gender Critical ideology- the idea that transition is bad for people, or that some people who transition should be “protected” from that decision, damages women’s rights. It diverts campaigning energy from the fight for rights for all women into a lie that trans rights in some way conflicts with women’s rights.
Fortunately Ali loses his leadership campaigns and his ridiculous motions, but he wastes the time of party conference in his campaign against trans rights. Patrick Harvie is right. He should be expelled. I would be sad if the Scottish Greens cut links with the GPEW, but I see their point.
Hear hear. The idea lesbians are transphobic if they are attracted to the same sex is totally undermining lgb rights.
Stonewall’s tweet was a statement of scientific fact. All children develop a sense of their own gender from between the ages of 2 and 4. Therefore, trans children will have a knowledge of their own gender, whatever that is, from a similar age. It’s frankly disappointing that you couldn’t be bothered to look that up, rather than assert your utterly wrong opinion on the subject. But, then again, since you go on to assert equally ignorant opinions on “gender ideology” it’s not surprising.
No one is “transing toddlers” Children can decide perfectly well for themselves.
As a member of the Green Party I feel that a willingness for a basic education should be a prerequisite for membership.