Green Party appeal panel backs expulsion of councillor from Brighton and Hove group

Posted On 21 Nov 2012 at 1:15 pm

Councillor Christina Summers has lost an appeal over her expulsion from the Green group of councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council.

She said: “I am now consulting with lawyers over this fundamental breach of a human right.”

Councillor Summers remains a Green Party member but sits as an Independent in the council chamber. She represents the Hollingdean and Stanmer ward.

The row stems from a speech that Councillor Summers made at a meeting in July, opposing same-sex marriage because of the conflict with her Christian beliefs, and the vote that followed. She reiterated her support for civil partnerships.

This was not enough to prevent party colleagues from holding an inquiry and throwing her out.

After the national party’s verdict, Rob Shepherd, chairman of Brighton and Hove Green Party, said: “We welcome the conclusion of Christina Summers’ appeal, which has upheld the findings of the original inquiry panel.

“It’s clear that the appeal process was extremely thorough, conscientious and independent, and we thank the appeal panellists for their professionalism and considerable efforts.

Councillor Christina Summers

“We wish to reiterate that the Green group of councillors made Councillor Summers an independent councillor not because of her views on same-sex marriage but because of a whole series of incidents which our inquiry panel investigated.

“We respect everyone’s right to religious freedom of expression but that was not the matter under consideration.

“Councillor Summers continues to serve as a councillor and remains a member of the Green Party, and the Green Party remains a champion of the freedom for all consenting adult couples to marry, which we hope will soon be recognised under this country’s civil law.

“We trust this matter is now at an end.”

With a challenge under human rights law in prospect, it looks as though this matter may take some time longer to resolve.

Councillor Summers said that she was disappointed not just for herself but for those who shared her views on marriage and on free speech.

She said: “I am terribly disappointed at the appeal panel’s decision, not just for myself but for others who share my views on marriage and on free speech.

“The Greens have always given the impression that they are tolerant enough to accept genuine diversity of opinion.

“Their decision and their statement today (Monday 19 November) which, as always, dodges this substantive issue indicates, in the end, that they are not.

“I would not wish the treatment I have received on anybody.

“I am now consulting with lawyers over this fundamental breach of a human right.”

 

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Fascism and cults share a common value. They bind people absolutely within a prison wall of dogma and allow no beliefs of one’s own to blur the sharp edges or challenge their rigidity.

    It is disappointing to see the national Greens helping the local Greens to save face – as it puts the entire Green Party in a bad light and warns the public to be very careful of supporting it.

    They speak with forked tongues.

  2. Hoveman Reply

    I had a look at the Green Party manifesto.. Can’t see anything about this ‘same-sex marriage’ subject!!!!

    http://www.brightonhovegreens.org/assets/files/localparties/brighton/publications/manifesto/Manifesto_A_Fresh_Start_for_a_Fair_City_low_res_2011.pdf

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