PROMINENT Green MSP Andy Wightman has resigned from his party.

In a statement, the Lothians politician said he could not "operate in this kind of environment" and was regrettably quitting. 

The MSP, who has been most vocal on land ownership and housing issues, is understood to have not agreed with the party's stance on transgender issues and has chosen to quit.

Read more: Andy Wightman: I won't rule out standing again or joining another party

A statement released this afternoon on the MSP's Twitter page reads: 

"For some time now, since I was admonished for attending a public meeting at Edinburgh University in June 2019, I have been saddened by the intolerance shown by some party members to an open and mature dialogue about the tensions and conflicts around questions of sex and gender in the context of transgender rights and women's rights.

"On Thursday last week it was made clear to me that if (as I was minded to), I voted for amendment 28 to the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill, I would face complaints and disciplinary action leading to possible suspension, deselection or expulsion.

"On the evidence of the reaction to my attendance at the June 2019 public meeting, I took this prospect seriously.

"I understand that the Scottish Green Party has a strong commitment to equalities and trans rights.

"However, some of the language, approaches and postures of the party and its spokespeople have been provocative, alienating and confrontational for many women and men.

"It has become evident to me that the sortof open-minded public engagement I would like to see take e place on this topic is incompatible with a party that has become very censorious of any deviation from an agreed line. Put simply, I cannot operate in this kind of environment. Thursday's vote and the discussions that took place around it were the final confirmation of that." 

"I remain committed to Green politics and will endeavour to work constructively with the Green Group in Parliament until dissolution.

"I also have important work to do on tenants' rights, the climate crisis, land reform, local democracy and taking forward my European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill." 

A Scottish Green party spokesman said: "The Scottish Greens are focused on building a greener and fairer Scotland that tackles the climate emergency, so Andy Wightman’s decision not to be part of our movement anymore is a matter of deep disappointment.

“Land reform, empowering local democracy and community empowerment are core Green issues, and Andy’s contribution has been very important, but the Greens remain committed to carrying on this agenda without him.

“The Scottish Greens wish Andy well in whatever he decides to do next.”