The former 'rising star' resigned from the Greens last month, citing transphobia, amid an investigation into her election agent father's conviction for horrific sexual crimes.
A former Green Party Equalities spokesperson – who resigned last month amid an investigation into her election agent father’s conviction for horrific sexual crimes – is under scrutiny after attempting to join the Liberal Democrats, Left Foot Forward can reveal.
Aimee Challenor was suspended from the Greens amid a ‘full investigation’ into how she twice appointed her father as her election agent, despite him being charged (and convicted in August) with multiple sexual offences including the kidnap and rape of a child.
Mr Challenor was first charged in November 2016, the BBC reported, but was appointed Aimme Challenor’s agent for the following General Election and this May’s council elections. Left Foot Forward has seen correspondence showing Ms Challenor was aware of the allegations and informed two Green Party executive members.
Equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor then stepped down from the deputy leadership race, and later resigned citing ‘transphobia’ (Aimee is trans).
Over the weekend the former deputy leadership candidate tweeted that she had joined the Liberal Democrats:
“Today me and @baynes_jennifer joined the @LibDems. We both left the Green Party together because of a growing transphobia problem, but both of us wanted to remain in Politics. The @LibDems match many of our beliefs, so the ideal home for both of us. #TransRightsAreHumanRights”
At the time of writing Aimee Challenor remains listed as the coordinator of the Global Greens LGBT+ network. However, in a statement to this site, the Global Greens said Ms Challenor’s roles would shortly ‘transition to a new person’.
There were also claims that Ms Challenor remained a member of the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party in Northern Ireland. It is against Liberal Democrat rules to be a member of another party in Great Britain:
Lib Dem rules prohibit being a member of another political party in Great Britain. I’m awaiting confirmation of reports that Challenor remains a member of Scottish Greens and/or Green Party NI.
Membership of Green Party NI would conveniently fall outside ‘Great Britain’ rule… pic.twitter.com/iDBLoVV1uJ
— Josiah Mortimer (@josiahmortimer) October 1, 2018
A spokesperson for the Scottish Green Party told this site:
“The Scottish Green Party requires that its members are not a member of another political party, other than fellow Green parties. As such, Aimee is no longer a member.”
In a statement to Left Foot Forward, Aimee Challenor said she had quit the Scottish Greens but remained a member of a non-UK Green Party, and was seeking assurances about membership of Green Party Northern Ireland:
“On Saturday I joined the Liberal Democrats because of their clear plans and indeed actions that protect my rights as a European, that protect my rights as a young woman, and that protects my rights as a trans person. In line with the Constitution of the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Green Party, I’ve therefore left the Scottish Greens.
“As I’ve made this move on a weekend, inquiries will continue from my team on Monday in regards to my membership of the Green Party of Northern Ireland. I will still remain a member of the Global Greens as I hold Green Party membership outside of the the United Kingdom and the Island of Ireland. I feel that in England and Wales the Liberal Democrats is my home but on a global level I belong to the wider Green family.”
While her membership was welcomed by the LGBT+ Lib Dems on Twitter, her application to join the party is now under review by the Liberal Democrats, Left Foot Forward can reveal.
A spokesperson for the Lib Dems told this site there was an ‘ongoing investigation’ into her membership application:
“Aimee Challenor has made an application to join the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats have an approval process for new members as set out in the party constitution and a member is only accepted when that process is complete.
“We are aware of the circumstances surrounding Aimee’s resignation from the Green Party and their ongoing investigation and those matters will be taken on board as part of the membership approval process.”
A debate broke out in the Green Party over gender identity following the story in August. Caroline Lucas agreed to meet Woman’s Place UK, who are opposing changes to the Gender Recognition Act, while a former member of the London Assembly, Darren Johnson, has ‘dared’ the party to expel him over the issue.
It is understood that several complaints have been made against former deputy leadership candidate Shahrar Ali and Green member Beatrix Campbell over alleged ‘transphobic bullying’ in criticising Aimee Challenor.
Challenor told the Guardian in June that she became involved in politics towards the end of the 2010-2015 coalition government: “That threw out the Conservatives and the Lib Dems for me because of tuition fees, austerity and a lack of action on climate change. I looked at other manifestos and the Greens’ stood out. I agreed with all of it.”
Green Party Northern Ireland did not respond to requests for comment.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.