Green Party taken to court over gender-critical row

The former deputy leader of the Green Party has told a court he was forced out of his party role due to his “gender-critical” beliefs. Dr Shahrar Ali is suing the party, claiming it discriminated against him on account of his beliefs, the first time an activist has sued his or her own party over this issue.

The Green Party of England and Wales denies discrimination. It says he was removed because he had become a “divisive force” in the party. The party removed Dr Ali as spokesman for policing and domestic safety in February 2022.

In papers submitted to the court, lawyers acting for Dr Ali claim that officials in the Green Party “collaborated” to remove him from his post because of his beliefs about gender, which include the view that “biology is real and immutable”.

Because of these views – which are protected by the Equality Act – Dr Ali alleges he faced discrimination and victimisation while working as a party spokesman.

They are also arguing that the party failed to support him and they claim that the Greens are legally responsible for comments made by its former co-leader Sian Berry, which, Dr Ali’s team say, levelled “unfounded accusations of transphobia” against him.

Ms Berry announced her resignation as co-leader in 2021, blaming “inconsistency” among party figures over transgender rights. She did not say who she was referring to.  The Green Party’s lawyers says Ms Berry was acting in a “personal capacity”.

They argue the party was justified in sacking Dr Ali because he had broken its code of conduct by voicing views that they claim were against the party’s policy on trans rights and that he was “deliberately causing controversy”.

Before being appointed spokesman on policing and domestic safety, Dr Ali was the Green Party’s deputy leader between 2014 and 2016. He has been a member of the Green Party for more than 20 years.

Dr Ali claims he was subjected to a series of 20 incidents of “less favourable treatment” because of his views on s.e.x. and gender. Dr Ali’s legal team said they are seeking damages of around £34,000.

The Green Party said: “The Green Party will vigorously defend this case and is confident of the case it will be presenting to court.

“We will not be commenting on the details of the hearing while proceedings are ongoing. The party remains proud of its focus on equality and human rights for all and our support for the trans community.

Source: BBC


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