The Green Party has claimed that its only member of the House of Lords retweeted a message attacking gender recognition “in error”.
Baroness Jenny Jones is one of just two Green Party representatives in Parliament, alongside Brighton MP Caroline Lucas.
But the peer came under scrutiny today after sharing a message that appeared to link proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act to a child abuse scandal in Telford.
The message, from a “gender critical” feminist campaigner, was directed at the SNP’s Mhairi Black – a supporter of transgender rights – and described proposals to adopt a self-identification system of gender recognition as “madness”.
The message read: “I am concerned your party want to update the GRA to allow Self ID. With the events happening in my town of Telford with child rape Self ID is madness!”
The Green peer did not respond to a string of tweets asking why she had retweeted the message, until PinkNews approached the Green Party for comment.
A Green Party spokesperson told PinkNews: “Jenny didn’t appreciate the implications of the tweet and retweeted it in error. It has now been removed.”
Baroness Jones has previously spoken of her fears over trans issues on Twitter.
She wrote: “I’m a feminist, I support trans women and the right of anyone to define their own gender. But, a big but, drowning out the voices of women who have concerns is not useful.
“Most women have experienced discrimination and would not willingly do it to others. More dialogue needed.”
On another occasion she wrote: “I get stories about trans women being the aggressors against women I like and respect. It’s wrong either way.”
She added: “Questioning, being fearful, wanting to discuss one’s own issues, is not automatically anti trans. The current ‘debate’ lacks tolerance and kindness.
“I’m fully supportive of trans people & can’t imagine or understand the hatred & nastiness they face. But not recognising the pressure that others experience in their lives is part of the problem.”
Molly Gerlach-Arthurs, Chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens, told PinkNews: “We were obviously disappointed to see the retweet, and maintain that it is not the view of the party.
“As LGBTIQA+ Greens, we often work with our elected officials and spokespeople to help them better understand the issues our community face. In this instance, we had encouraged Jenny to listen to trans people about issues that affect trans people.
“While this tweet in particular is not something that we condone, we recognise that it was written by a trans person and feel that Jenny was trying to amplify a trans voice.
“We are glad that Jenny has since deleted the retweet, and will continue to work with her to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“She has been publicly and privately supportive of us in the past, and we know that she would be genuinely upset to have caused any harm to the trans community.”
The Greens also pointed to official party policy on trans issues.
This states: “The Green Party recognises that there are many gender identities that are within, and outside of, the traditional gender binary of man and woman.
“The Green Party recognises that trans men are men, trans women are women, and that non-binary identities exist and are valid.
“We shall respect transgender and non-binary people’s identities as real. The Green Party shall include, and push for further acceptance of, transgender and non-binary people within all areas of society.”
Caroline Lucas, the party’s co-leader and lone MP, is a passionate supporter of LGBT rights.
Baroness Jones has notably differed from the Green Party as a whole on a number of issues, most notably supporting Brexit despite the strong Remain stance of many in her party.