Christian faces expulsion from Green Party Group of Councillors

17 August 2012

Christina Summers, a member of Brighton and Hove City Council, is set to be dismissed from the Green Group over expressing her views on same-sex marriage in a free vote.

A disciplinary panel of the Green Group of councillors announced its recommendation today (10 September) to expel Councillor Summers. The announcement was held off until the end of the Green Party conference to avoid negative publicity.

Several Green Councillors called for her dismissal when she voted against a motion in support of the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage at a council meeting in July.

At the launch of the Party’s disciplinary Inquiry Panel, shortly after the vote, Councillor Summers explained that her decision was based on her Christian convictions, stating, “I’m accountable to God above any political party.”

In response to the news of her likely expulsion, Councillor Summers said:

“I have been waiting for weeks for my colleagues to make a clear and public decision. “They have no idea how much I have been wanting to say to them and how many emails, blogs and tweets from the wider party membership I wanted to refute and respond to. But there is a time to speak and a time to be silent.

“In view of the Green Party’s own special interpretation of equality, my expulsion from the Green Group of councillors should not, in the end, come as a surprise.

“Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel crestfallen. After at least two intimate years of campaigning and then serving together in administration, my own colleagues, who should know me well by now, have chosen to believe a lie. “Party policy, however vague, is sovereign.”

Councillor Summers is taking advice from the Christian Legal Centre over whether to seek a judicial review of the decision.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“The shambolic nature of the disciplinary proceedings against Christina Summers reflect very badly on the Green Party.

“Brighton and Hove was the first council the Greens won. They cannot expect to win any more if they continue to suppress diversity and freedom of expression in this way.

“Councillor Summers’ view of marriage as being the union of a man and a woman is consistent with the teachings of mainstream, historic Christianity. Is the door of the Green Party now closed to Christians?”

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