Trans row splits Green Party: ultra-woke leader quits

Sian Berry resigned today as co-leader of the Green Party a few days after the resignation of her colleague Jonathan Bartley. Ms Berry is probably the second-best known Green in England (after the party’s sole MP Caroline Lucas) and was her party’s candidate for Mayor of London in 2008, 2016 and 2021, finishing third with 7.8% this year. She has been a member of the Greater London Assembly since 2016.

Her resignation was prompted by a bitter internal row within the Green Party over “trans rights” – specifically whether a man should be allowed to define himself as a woman even if he has not had “gender reassignment” surgery.

Ms Berry (in common with most of the ultra-woke left – though why this should even be a left v right issue is a mystery to H&D) is a fanatical supporter of trans rights: so far as she is concerned, people can define themselves as male, female, or something indeterminate – regardless of biological facts.

Her problem is that the Greens (being very ‘democratic’) elect their party spokesmen, so she is unable to choose her own leadership team.

In her resignation statement, Ms Berry writes of “an inconsistency between the sincere promise to fight for trans rights and inclusion in my work and the message sent by the party’s choice of front bench representatives.

“This inconsistency has left me in a very difficult position. I can no longer claim that the party speaks unequivocally, with one voice, on this issue.

“And my conscience simply cannot agree with the argument that there is anything positive in sending these mixed messages, especially when the inclusive attitudes of our membership and wider society are clear.”

Shahrar Ali

While Ms Berry was careful not to name names, H&D understands that the split centres on Shahrar Ali, a former deputy leader of the party who stood for the leadership last September against Ms Berry and Mr Bartley.

Shahrar Ali (who has a doctorate in philosophy from London University) is now the Green Party’s spokesman on policing, and it appears that due to his taking an opposing line on ‘trans’ Ms Berry found it impossible to tolerate his presence in the leadership team.

Dr Ali issued a statement last July entitled “What is a Woman?” in which he dared to write: “A woman is commonly defined as an adult human female and, genetically, typified by two XX chromosomes. These facts are not in dispute nor should they be in any political party. We campaign for the rights of women and girls to be treated equally on the basis of the protected characteristic of biological sex, as enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.”

While he went on to defend the rights of those who had gone through “gender reassignment”, this statement was interpreted by the ultra-woke as “transphobic”, apparently because Dr Ali seemed not to recognise the “rights” of people to make up their own gender regardless of biology.

It’s not the first time that Dr Ali has been in trouble for speaking his mind. In 2018 the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Jewish Chronicle reported a speech he had made nine years earlier, describing it as an “offensive” anti-semitic “rant”. Dr Ali eventually won a ruling in his favour from the press regulator IPSO.

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