The Green Party has been found to have discriminated against its former deputy leader over his gender-critical beliefs.
A court ruled that the party had improperly dismissed Dr Shahrar Ali – who believes that “biology is real and immutable” – as party spokesman because it had failed to identify any misconduct.
The Mayor’s and City County Court awarded £9,100 in damages to Dr Ali.
However, the judgment upheld the right of political parties to dismiss spokesmen whose views differ from party policy.
Dr Ali’s was the first legal action of its kind against a political party.
Speaking outside the court, he called for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the Green Party over how it handles trans rights debates.
“The current Green Party of England and Wales is out of control,” he said.
‘Not beyond the law’
“Parties are not beyond the law when it comes to seeking to discipline their representatives in accordance with their own rules for alleged misconduct.”
The Green Party admitted “procedural shortfalls” in dismissing him.
Jon Nott, the chairman of the Green Party of England and Wales’ executive, said: “We are pleased that the court has recognised that a democratic political party has the right to select those who speak for it on the basis that they can and will communicate and support party policy publicly.”
The court dismissed other allegations of discrimination and victimisation by the Green Party.
The party removed Dr Ali as spokesman for policing and domestic safety in February 2022 for breaching the party’s “spokespeople code of conduct”.
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”.
The court ruled Dr Ali’s removal as “procedurally unfair” because the Green Party identified no code breaches at his dismissal.
Call for investigation
Judge Hellman said he could not rule out the possibility that this unfairness had been because of Dr Ali’s gender critical beliefs.
Political parties can remove spokesmen for holding “beliefs that were inconsistent with party policy”, if done through fair procedures, the judgment found.
Speaking outside the court, Dr Ali called for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the Green Party over how it handles trans rights debates.
He also said an independent inquiry “into the hostile environment in political parties across the Left” should be set up.
Cade Hatton, co-chairman of the LGBTIQA+ Greens group, said: “We must be able to rely on our most visible members – our spokespeople and elected representatives – to both hold up the ethos and the democratically chosen party policies that support the most vulnerable members of our society.
“We hope that everyone involved feels they have gotten what they needed out of this case, but sadly under our judicial system and with the complexities of this issue, this is rarely possible.”