The Mail on Sunday

Greens fury as trans activist made head of women’s section

- By Scarlet Howes and Sanchez Manning

DOZENS of activists have quit the Green Party in protest at the election of a transgende­r campaigner as head of its women’s group.

The exodus, involving at least 40 women, follows the appointmen­t in December of Kathryn Bristow, who was born a man but now identifies as a transwoman.

Ms Bristow, who is seen as a rising star in a party famed for its ‘wokeness’, appeared in the 2020 Pink List of most influentia­l members of the LGBT community in her home city of Bristol.

But her critics claim Ms Bristow’s new role means women are losing representa­tion within the party.

Some even fear that its focus on trans issues could overshadow its traditiona­l campaignin­g against environmen­tal catastroph­e.

A source suggested Ms Bristow’s appointmen­t has added to internal strife that erupted five years ago when the party referred to women as ‘ non- males’, adding: ‘Many women in the Green Party have had enough of being told what to think. We’ve fought hard for over a century to have a seat at the political table. Trans people face their own challenges and need spokespeop­le, but so do women.’

In emails from departing supporters seen by The Mail on Sunday, furious female activists among the 52,000- strong membership criticise the party’s stance on women’s rights.

‘You can’t even discuss it without being accused of transphobi­a,’ wrote one. ‘It’s a terrible situation which I believe is driven by a powerful lobby intent on driving an agenda which i s anti - gay and anti-women.’

Another complained: ‘The Green Party has lost its focus on the climate and ecological emergency.’

The party’s grassroots have been further outraged by an email sent to LGBTQ+ members urging them not to include motions for discussion on items such as ‘women’s sex-based rights’ which were l abelled as ‘ non- i nclusive’. Ms Bristow’s opponents claim there is a conflict of interest in having her as policy officer for the LGBTQ+ group and also as co-chair of the party’s women’s group.

She has also attracted criticism for working as an adviser at the private online clinic GenderGP, which can prescribe puberty blockers to children as young as 12.

She has also come in for flak for saying there would be no sexism if we ‘reject sex as a concept’.

Ms Bristow rejects the claims. She tweeted: ‘My rights as a trans person don’t conflict with anyone else’s, as that’s not how human rights work. Fighting for trans liberation is part of everyone’s liberation, because we all must be free for any of us to be.’

Last night, a Green Party spokesman said: ‘We are unequivoca­l in our support for trans rights.

‘We recognise that transwomen are women, transmen are men and non-binary identities exist and are valid.

‘We acknowledg­e there has been conflict in our party and we are committed to resolving it, as well as to finding ways forward that uphold everyone’s human rights.’

The party has 372 local councillor­s, one MP and two peers. Under the rules of its women’s section, Green Party Women, anyone who identifies as a woman or ‘gender variant’ could vote for its leadership team in last month’s election.

 ??  ?? RISING STAR: Kathryn Bristow, who co-chairs the Greens’ women’s group
RISING STAR: Kathryn Bristow, who co-chairs the Greens’ women’s group

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