Scottish Green members are quitting the party because of an "increase in factionalism and hostile behaviour," Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie have said. 

The co-convenors, who sit in government, called for change, saying too many of their activists "feel dispirited by internal issues, including consistent behaviour from a small number which falls well short of the values of the party."

The comments from the two were in response to the shock resignation of the outgoing co-chair of the Greens.

Ellie Gomersall resigned her place on the executive committee with a blast at several “fellow senior office bearers,” saying that “things simply have to change.”

The dramatic resignation follows the Herald on Sunday’s report about a row over MSP Ross Greer’s role on the board.

READ MORE: Green members call for Greer to quit in row over finance leak

In an internal memo, seen by The National, Ms Gomersall said: “It’s with great sadness and frustration that, after much thought, I have taken the difficult decision to resign from my position as Co-Chair of the party’s Executive committee, effective immediately.

“I took on this role in summer 2022 because I wanted to make a difference to the party, to help guide our strategy as we move into the most important election cycles in our party’s history, and because I wanted to help create a culture of empowerment for members, continuing to embed our culture of radical democracy into everything we do.

“Unfortunately, so much of my time in this role has been spent attempting to navigate and mediate interpersonal disputes and feuds, many of which are lingering or resurfaced disputes from long before I was even an active party member.”

She added: “I’ve seen increased factionalism, hostility and toxicity from a small minority of members – including fellow senior office bearers – which has plagued discussions and distracted from our party’s purpose.”

Ms Gomersall said the role had taken a toll on her health. She said: “Much has been spoken about in recent times of the risk of burnout faced disproportionately by women and young people in the party, and I fear that I have come dangerously close to becoming another victim of this in recent months.

“I have increasingly seen the impact this role is having on my mental health and on my friendships, and I simply have to put a stop to it.

“I hope that my resignation will not only alleviate the seepage this role has had on my personal life, but will also serve as a wake-up call to those at the top of the party that things simply have to change.”

Ms Gomersall said she would remain an active member of the party.

READ MORE: Scottish Greens deal major blow to hospitality sector

Responding to the statement, Mr Harvie and Mr Slater issued a joint response thanking her for her work.

The Herald:

They said: “Ellie is sadly right to say that there has been an increase in factionalism and hostile behaviour within the party.

“The recent repeated, deeply personalised and hurtful media attacks against Ross [Greer] are an example of this.

“Sadly, far too many members feel dispirited by internal issues, including consistent behaviour from a small number which falls well short of the values of the party.

“This had led to people becoming less active or even leaving the party, or simply putting up with unacceptable behaviour at the cost of their own wellbeing.

“This has affected members at all levels; in branches, on committees, and among elected Greens and staff members too. It needs to change.”

Mr Greer now sits as the sole chair of the Scottish Greens executive committee until a by-election is held to replace Ms Gomersall.