by Jon Taylor

19 March 2024

In Ali v Reason & Nott, a County Court considered whether a spokesman for the Green Party had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against as a result of his gender-critical beliefs. This claim was brought in the County Court due to it relating to a membership association rather than an employment relationship.

The Claimant, the Green Party’s spokesperson on policing and domestic safety, held beliefs that sex is real, immutable and distinct from gender identity, which has been held to be a “belief” and therefore a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The Claimant argued that the Green Party tried to force him out of the party due to these beliefs. He alleged that he was the subject of a campaign to get him removed from his post, but that the executive committee failed to get enough votes to remove him. In 2022, a majority of the party’s executive committee voted for him to be removed, but he was not formally informed of this decision. The party then announced the decision on social media and said that the Claimant had breached their code of conduct.

As a result of this, the Claimant lodged claims against the Respondents (representatives of members of the Green Party) for unfair dismissal and discrimination on grounds of his protected belief. Following a hearing, a Judge ruled that the removal from his role was procedurally unfair and that this was directly related to his beliefs. However, the Judge also made it clear that it is not discriminatory for a political party to remove someone on grounds of their beliefs, as long as it follows a fair procedure in doing so. This case is thought to be the first case in which a court has considered a claim in respect of a protected belief against a political party. The ruling makes it clear that the obligation not to discriminate against an individual as a result of their beliefs applies to political parties as much as it does to employers. The Green Party’s statement following the ruling welcomed the findings that Equality Act 2010 is not designed to interfere with the rights of political parties to remove members for holding beliefs that are not in line with the party.

The Employment team at EMW are on hand to provide advice in respect of any issues arising from an employer’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010 we well as all other aspects if employment law.

The full judgement can be read here:

For further information about this article, please contact the Employment Team.
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