Coventry & Warwickshire

Aimee Challenor resigns over Green Party 'transphobia'

Aimee Challenor
Image caption Aimee Challenor was running to become the deputy leader of the Green Party

A former leadership hopeful has quit the Green Party - accusing it of transphobia.

Aimee Challenor was suspended amid investigations into her father - who was jailed for child sex offences - acting as an election agent.

The activist, who dropped her bid to become deputy leader after her father's conviction, said trans members of the party faced a hostile environment.

The Green Party said it was at the forefront of advancing trans rights.

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Speaking to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, Ms Challenor denied her allegations were "sour grapes" resulting from her suspension.

"We have got to a point in the party where our messaging on trans rights is falling behind," she said.

"In recent months trans people within the party have faced a continuous stream of assaults on our basic rights and dignity."

Ms Challenor also criticised former party leader Caroline Lucas for agreeing to meet with campaign group Woman's Place UK.

She described the group, which campaigns against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), as a "far-right transphobic hate group".

Woman's Place UK said it is against all forms of discrimination and Ms Challenor's claim "undermines the important discussion needed on this issue".

Co-founder Kiri Tunks said the campaign was formed to ensure women's voices were heard on proposed changes to the GRA and its meetings included trans people both on the platform and in the audience.

She added: "We are committed to respectful discussion that respects the rights of all."

Writing about Ms Challenor's suspension in The Guardian, Ms Lucas urged people to find "a way through the current debate about trans rights that's respectful of one another and the facts".

The 20-year-old pulled out of the party's deputy leader race last week.

The Green Party then announced it had suspended her on a no-fault basis while an investigation took place.

A party spokesperson said it stood against transphobia in all its forms.

"We also believe in the power of dialogue. That means taking time to talk to those who have different perspectives, even those we disagree with, to make progress towards a world where all women are safe."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption David Challenor was jailed for 22 years over child sex offences

Ms Challenor's father David had acted as an election agent at the 2017 general election and local elections in May, despite being charged with child rape in November 2016, according to West Midlands Police.

He was jailed for 22 years at Warwick Crown Court, where he was found guilty of 20 offences including the rape of a 10-year-old girl.

The court was told he held the victim captive in his attic and photographed the abuse as it was carried out.

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