The Scottish Green Party is in a state of open civil war this weekend with party loyalists and rebels launching brutal attacks on each other.

Rebels have demanded co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater go and there’s also been calls for the deselection of all Green MSPs. One rebel said: “I’d be very worried if I was at the top of the party.”

Rebels are furious at the handling of the Bute House Agreement. They say the party should have left government before being pushed, calling the events “humiliating”. They also accuse the leaders and MSPs of selling out the party’s values for power.

Rebels are particularly furious with prominent Green MSP Ross Greer. He’s seen as the architect of the deal and blamed for the concessions the party made to the SNP while in government.

Greer was accused of being a “Peter Mandelson figure” who pulled the strings of co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater.

Rebels claim he wants to take over as co-leader if Harvie and Slater are forced out or resign. They described that as their “nightmare scenario”. It was said Greer wants to be Scotland’s “first Green First Minister”.

He was accused of cronyism, and centralising power around himself. Accusations of “misogyny" were levelled - but not of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour or language. The accusation centred on claims that he was “significantly more patronising towards women than men”.

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Rebels claim a “toxic culture” of bullying at the top of the party has had a detrimental effect on some members’ mental health.

Angry party loyalists and senior party sources told the Herald on Sunday that rebels were “out to destroy” Greer, and called the accusations “malicious" and “false". They also accused rebels of bullying and misogyny.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday, Greer hit back saying that “there is a problem of bullying and toxic culture in our party”, but blamed it on the rebel faction, who he described as a “small group of individuals consistently unwilling to respect the views of other party members and the democratic decisions the party has made”.

He added that his job as party co-chair was to “protect our staff who have come under some of the most horrendous bullying from a small number of individuals. Because I’ve stood up to them, I’ve become an obsessive target of this group”.

The rebel faction was “consistently unable to persuade a majority of party members to agree with them … Instead of engaging with other members in good faith to understand why they’re in the minority, they’ve simply escalated their bullying behaviour, driven a number of people out of the party and driven another group of people into extremely poor mental ill-health.

“I’m proud I’ve stood up against them, particularly in the way they’ve treated women who work for the party and the parliamentary group … Franky, I’d rather they continue targeting me than some much more vulnerable people that they’ve spent the last two and half years bullying.”

On the allegations of misogyny by being ‘dismissive towards women’, Greer said: “I’m proud of the fact that we as a party take such a strong position against misogyny and toxic masculinity that any behaviour like that would result in complaints and a disciplinary process.”

The Herald: Ross GreerRoss Greer

Greer said he’d “stood up to people” who had carried out “misogynistic bullying of women in the party”, adding: “As a result these people targeted me.”

Greer said if the misogyny allegations against him were “true, then I’d have been out on my ear long before now, and frankly I’d have deserved it”.

Greer claimed that the rebels weren’t a “groundswell of opinion … just a very, very angry clique with no hesitation to manufacture stuff like this”.

Rebels say they have a “substantial proportion” of the party on their side.

Greer insisted that Harvie and Slater would “absolutely” remain as co-leaders, adding: “It’s right that we as a party now have a discussion with all our members about our strategy for the remainder of this parliamentary term. In the years going forward, that discussion should be led by the party leaders.”

When asked if he’d run for a leadership position if Harvie or Slater quit or were forced to resign, Greer replied: “That’s quite obviously not what I’m thinking about right now at all. I support Patrick and Lorna … I’m very happy with the role that I’ve got … I’m not looking to change that anytime.”

In response to claims that he wanted to be Scotland’s ‘first Green First Minister’, Greer replied: “God, I hope not. Being First Minister is a truly thankless task. The place for Greens is in government delivering the change we know is essentially, sadly that’s not where we’re going to be for the next couple of years.

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“Humza Yousaf has chosen to end the progressive pro-independence majority. I’ll do what my party members and voters think is best for me to do to contribute to our movement over coming years … Right now, I’m very happy with the combination of hats I already wear.”

Asked how the Green Party will vote in the two upcoming votes of no confidence in Yousaf and his government, Greer said: “We've no confidence in Humza Yousaf’s ability to lead Scotland. His judgement has been below what’s necessary for a First Minister.

“He’s clearly been captured by some of the most conservative and reactionary forces in Scotland … We’re very clear in our position that he cannot continue to lead the Scottish Government.”

Asked if he believes Yousaf will fall, Greer said: “It’s more likely than not that we’ll avoid having a vote of no confidence in Humza Yousaf as First Minister because he’ll not be First Minister by the time Parliament returns next week.”

Greer claimed Yousaf knew ending the deal “wasn’t a good idea … He’s not a man in control of events anymore. He’s certainly not in control of his own future or the post he’s in.

“There’s huge disquiet and anger in the SNP particularly amongst progressive members … He’s lost the confidence of huge numbers of people in the SNP … The right thing for him to do for Scotland would be to resign and allow the country, government and parliament to move on.”

Greer insisted the Greens had made achievements under the Bute House Agreement, citing child poverty and transport, adding: “I’m proud of the role I, the parliamentary group and party as a whole played in securing and delivering on the agreement.”

He believes the party “would have voted to continue” with the deal. The rebel faction of the party disagree, claiming they had the numbers to end it.

Referring to the split in the party, Greer said “it’s more important than ever that Greens are united as the public doesn’t vote for divided parties … So these internal cultural issues need addressed”.

He added: “The party can and will recover. The Scottish Greens are stronger than these internal issues, which isn't to diminish the seriousness of them.”