Statement on the Executive Committee's conclusions.
Published on 21 February 2018
The Executive Committee of the Women’s Equality Party has completed its investigation into complaints against a party official. The Committee recommended that the official should not continue as party spokesperson after concluding her actions breached articles of the constitution and our volunteer agreement*.
The person in question, who has made a statement on social media, is Heather Brunskell-Evans, a tireless campaigner on ending violence against women, and we are sorry to learn that she has decided to resign her party membership.
This has been a difficult experience for all involved. However, it is essential that when complaints are made to the party they are taken seriously and dealt with fairly and thoroughly, as the constitution approved by our members sets out.
Doing politics differently is not easy. We are determined that issues that have the potential to divide the movement for women’s equality – including the interactions between rights linked to sex and gender – should be addressed in a constructive, respectful and inclusive manner through the democratic channels provided in our constitution. We look forward to evolving those discussions with our members.
The Executive Committee ruled that there were breaches of 7.10 of the constitution (which can be found online HERE) and 2.1 and 2.2 of the volunteer agreement, which are as follows:
2.1: We expect our volunteers to treat all WE employees, other WE volunteers, all WE members and supporters, and any members of the public you have dealings with, with respect and consideration and without discriminating against, defaming, bullying, harassing or intimidating any person, in particular because of any protected characteristic (sex, age, race, disability, gender-reassignment, sexual orientation, religious or philosophical belief, marital/civil partnership status or pregnancy/maternity). If you don’t do this, it could result in the Party no longer asking you to volunteer, and might make you personally liable for damages. Again, you may have the right to appeal to WE under article 10 of the WE Constitution.
2.2: The Party has been set up to create a broad and strong consensus, uniting voters from across the political spectrum and irrespective of gender, in a drive towards gender equality. It is essential for our effectiveness and credibility that we recognise and embrace different political approaches within our members and supporters, avoid personal attacks on other WE members or against other mainstream parties and maintain political neutrality while discussing our seven core goals. Our approach should be collegiate, inclusive and constructive.