Alison Teal: Sheffield Green election candidate in same constituency as Eddie Izzard suspended from party in trans rights row
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She is subject to a no-fault suspension over allegations from opponents that some of her social media posts were transphobic.
She said in a brief statement today : “It’s deeply regrettable that some of my former colleagues brought our political disagreement into the public eye and one has brought a complaint against me that’s led to my no-fault suspension by the Party.
“Using the disciplinary process to manage differences of opinion rather than engage in discussion is troubling and disappointing. Efforts are being made at the local level to address the need for dialogue and I continue to be optimistic that we can resolve our differences.”
The former Green Party Sheffield councillor and prominent campaigner to save the city’s street trees who is a nationally well-known figure in the party has attracted both support and criticism for her stance on trans and gender issues. She has retweeted comments from Green supporters critical of her suspension.
In October, she praised on Twitter a “powerful piece” written by Jean Hatchet, which criticised the fact that Eddie Izzard, one of the shortlisted candidates to contest the Sheffield Central seat for Labour, used the women’s toilets at a Labour Party fundraising event in the city.
The comedian and actor is a well-known campaigner for trans rights.
Her October 1 tweet had a link to the piece and said: “Powerful piece by @JeanHatchet “The loss of women’s rights starts with looking the other way for an Eddie Izzard and ends with a society that doesn’t flinch at placing a male sex offender in jail with women.” Serious issues we must discuss. @SheffieldGreens”
After she was elected to stand as the party’s candidate to contest the Sheffield Central seat, five Green Party councillors Ruth Mersereau, Angela Argenzio, Alexi Dimond, Brian Holmshaw and Martin Phipps were among members who shared a graphic on Twitter. It read: “I am a Sheffield Green Party member and I support trans rights. I will not campaign for any candidate who discriminates against trans people.”
We have approached Sheffield Green Party and council group leader Cllr Douglas Johnson for comment but not yet had a response.