Brighton councillor to appeal expulsion decision

12:00pm Wednesday 19th September 2012

A Christian councillor has vowed to appeal a decision to expel her from her party group.

Christina Summers has been banned from sitting with her Green Party colleagues on Brighton and Hove City Council after voting against supporting equal marriage.

The move was confirmed on Monday by the local authority after a majority of Green councillors voted to kick her out of the council group on Monday night.

But Coun Summers, who will remain a party member, last night told The Argus she would be appealing the decision to the national party.

It comes as council leader Jason Kitcat, who resigned from a panel of inquiry to look into her behaviour before the results were issued, said he believed someone in his position should never have sat on it in the first place.

Coun Summers, who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer, said: “I believe it is unjust.

"The whole process has been Machiavellian.

“I will remain as an independent, absolutely, as I have been elected by the voters of Hollingdean and Stanmer.

"I do not believe they elected me solely on an equality ticket.”

The behind-closed-doors decision of the Green group followed the recommendations of an internal party inquiry, which was revealed last week.

Coun Kitcat said: “My resignation was nothing to do with Coun Summers’ actions but was because I came to the realisation that there was a substantial conflict between my role as convenor and my role as panel member.

“As the panel conclusions were decided by a majority, they would have been the same whether I was there or not.”
 

Speaking on behalf of the Brighton and Hove Green Party, executive member Rob Shepherd said: “The Green Party is committed to treating all our members fairly, so we have a robust process of inquiry, con- clusion and appeal.

“On Monday night, a clear majority of Green councillors chose that Councillor Summers should become an independent councillor, though still a member of the Green Party, so her decision to appeal takes us to the next stage.

“It’s now up to a national body, separate from the local party, to review the matter.”

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