Green Party must accept failings in its dealings with David Challenor

Written by Olivia Palmer, twice candidate for Green MP and member of Mayday4Women.

I was sickened to hear of the absolutely abhorrent rape and torture of a ten year old girl by Green Party activist David [Baloo] Challenor. My thoughts are with the victim. I am especially angry that the perpetrator pleaded not guilty, forcing this poor child to have to attend court and testify against him, drawing out the horrific process. I hope that she has access to adequate help and services having been so appallingly let down by so many thus far.

As a former Parliamentary Election Candidate of the Green Party. I am concerned about how the party has handled this. I have been let down by the party and personally experienced distress at the hands of bullies and procedural failings. Of course nothing on this scale could have been predicted but favouring certain individuals beyond criticism shows the beginnings of safe-guarding failings.

Until yesterday, Coventry Green Party listed their HQ as the Challenor home, where the crimes were committed. Coventry Green Party HQ is a crime scene and has been for over a year. Does this not require some explanation and apologies?

The local branch of Coventry Green Party have not released a statement. All the activists would have known David Challenor. Do they not wish to condemn the actions of their colleague?

Why has Aimee Challenor not been suspended? I feel that appointing an election agent who is awaiting trial for the rape and torture of a child breaks a number of procedural policies, not least bringing the party into disrepute.

I feel that the entire branch should be suspended pending a full investigation, I’m not convinced that the Green Party are taking this seriously. There could be more victims, the party needs to investigate whether other individuals were put at risk by this man being an election agent and resident at their Coventry HQ.

The Green Party did not offer any apology for wrong doing and did not reach out directly to the victim. They did not name male violence, rape, torture or paedophilia, instead using this distasteful term ‘gender-based violence’. A direct insult to the victim and the gender critical women who exposed Challenor’s membership of the party. They took an entire week to publish any statement at all and when it did emerge contained this line “There is no connection between these offences and Mr Challenor’s previous membership of the Green Party.” What on earth is meant by that? He was an activist for you, a suspected paedophile was out (presumably) knocking on doors on your behalf.

David Challenor an anti-feminist lobbyist who, alongside other members of the LGBTIQA+ Greens, have spent the last few years running a successful campaign of intimidation and hatred towards feminists. The main objectives of these activists has been to:

  • Legalise prostitution
  • Promote medical transition of children and adults
  • Allow male bodied individuals access to women’s spaces
  • Promote the idea of ‘gendered’ brains, an idea which has been used to subjugate women and girls
  • Normalise sexual fetishes such as BDSM (violence) and AB/DL (which involves dressing up as a baby, often wearing a diaper)
  • Silence women who disagree with the above agenda (some members of LGBTIQA+ Greens celebrated the violent attack of feminist, Maria Maclachlan).

Radical feminists campaign tirelessly against male violence. We disagree with BDSM, we do not think anyone can ‘consent’ to being beaten or physically harmed during sexual activity. We condemn anyone who gains sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on another human being. For this opinion we have been called ‘kink-shamers’ and ‘bigots’ as if being turned on by violence is akin to being homosexual and should not be criticised.

Radical feminists and lesbian feminists have been silenced, attacked, ostracised from the Green Party. I was suspended and subsequently expelled for naming a biological male as a ‘man’ on TV. The suspension within a couple of days of the incident, so we know they can move fast with their disciplinary motion when they want to.

My local party tried to resist the bullying of feminists with a motion condemning the behaviour ‘North Surrey Green Party reaffirms its commitment to free speech, and condemns all silencing, abuse, threats and physical violence against all radical feminists; and against all members regardless of sexuality.’ A complaint was upheld against the local group with the Green Party Disciplinary committee asked them to remove this motion on the basis that Radical Feminist = TERF. Well, Green Party of England and Wales, Radical Feminists are women who have the courage to question the misogyny which is rife within your party. Radical feminists are the women who condemn sexual violence, radical feminists are the women who promote the safe guarding of women and children above the feelings of men.

Both the LGBTIQA+ Greens and Coventry Green Party have sheltered this child rapist and actively pushed a misogynistic agenda. It has now become apparent what his motives for supporting this movement were. I am absolutely sure that the majority of members who have met or supported David Challenor are disgusted by his actions and sickened by having had contact with him. I ask them to speak out. I ask them to look at the motives of men within their movement and ask themselves who gains from normalising sexual violence and misogyny?

I await statements from LGBTIQA+ Greens, Coventry Green Party and further clarification from the Green Party of England and Wales.

You can also find this article on Olivia’s personal blog.

4 thoughts on “Green Party must accept failings in its dealings with David Challenor

  • Well said. I too had to have dealings with a Challenor. Very immature and misogynistic, all for trying to stop comments about another candidate which were libellous.

    The cover given is either wilful ignorance or incompetence. Certainly immature and highly dangerous.

    The seriousness of this offence has been sanitised.

    A deliberate project was set in motion by father & trans-daughter working their IT skills together for TERFBlocker, (alarm bells anyone?!), and dad being appointed election agent AFTER he’d been charged. Hounding women and calling them c*nts, sending derogatory memes… whilst accusing them of transphobia (alarm bells anyone?!).

    Something very harrowing and manipulative was going on and by its very nature secretive. A chaotic emotional life has caused serious damage and another potential victim has been prematurely propelled into the spotlight.

    The Green Party has form here and in similar areas and I speak from bitter and damaging experience.

  • I wrote this for the Green Party’s Members’ Website and posted it to Facebook too.

    A serious post.
    Dear All,
    I am not sure if you have seen the headlines about a David Challenor and his conviction for heinous and depraved rape and torture of a 10 year old girl. He is/was a member of the Green Party and campaign coordinator running a Green Party Candidate Campaign HQ from the crime scene after being charged. This child was imprisoned in their attic.
    As many of you know, I was a Green Party councillor and parliamentary candidate. I am utterly ashamed of the Green Party’s response. See website & Twitter. The total lack of leadership and obfuscation is repugnant to me. I stayed a member for certain personal reasons, but now even that isn’t enough.

    An utter disgrace. I’m done and feel ashamed that it happened on our watch. That poor little girl, the bravest and most dignified of us all.

    Here is my contribution to the Green Members’ Website:

    The more I look at this and now having read the Green Party twitter feed, the more I am sick to my stomach. Just read the statement again, humour me, my emboldening:

    Statement on the sentencing of David Challenor
    We have recently been made aware that David Challenor, a family member of Green Party spokesperson Aimee Challenor, has been found guilty of serious sexual offences. We are shocked and horrified by these offences and condemn them in the strongest possible terms. The offences have been dealt with through the criminal justice system and Aimee has requested privacy, which we respect, and we are offering her our support at this challenging time. The Green Party was not aware of any of these allegations until the case concluded and Mr Challenor had been sentenced.

    Mr Challenor has not held any elected positions in the Green Party although Aimee appointed him as her election agent for the General Election in 2017 and local election in May 2018.

    There is no place for this abhorrent criminal behaviour in the Green Party. Mr Challenor is no longer a member, having had his membership removed with immediate effect. There is no connection between these offences and Mr Challenor’s previous membership of the Green Party.

    The Green Party stands against all sexual and gender-based violence. We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and as standard practice we will review them with immediate effect.

    Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected as a result of these offences

    1) a family member – father. Stop distancing.

    2) serious sexual offences – sadistic, torture, electrocution, imprisonment, tying up, sex toys, dressing up as little girl in nappy, of a ten year old girl. He took pictures and some were found of babies which he downloaded. Then calling her a liar and a fantiscist and forcing a trial and case drawn out for three years. Try: ‘sadistic-paedophilic and depraved acts against a ten your old girl’.

    3) these offences & The offences & abhorrent criminal behaviour – all minimising, sanitising and distancing language, in the context of the entire statement.

    4) not aware – but should have been. A cursory check takes a few seconds.

    5) Mr Challenor has not held any elected positions – irrelevant and, again, distancing. Like it makes any difference to a versed manipulator. He had access to databases, influenced party policy under the ridiculous title of ‘Baloo’. Infantilising nonsense to allow such a name on motions. Alarm bells anyone?! Previous convictions for animal cruelty! A few seconds it took to find out.

    6) Aimee appointed him – for a myriad of reasons and none, only Aimee will know. If the police visited in October 2015, as was demonstrated, then this was an unfathomable decision. A crime scene as a campaign and local party headquarters! Whether “Stockholmed” or not, it shows that our party makes grave errors in allowing quick rises through the party, without potential candidates doing the graft, learning the ropes and growing up. I hope that Aimee and her family get the help which has clearly been needed for a long time. I do feel it.

    7) stands against all sexual and gender-based violence – this sounds like ‘all forms of racism’, ‘all forms of…whatever’. Gender-based violence?! Unbelievable minimising and distancing. A father, a grown man, sadistically raped and tortured a little girl. Imagine any other party writing this nonsense, we’d be over them like a rash. This was sadistic-paedophilia of a ten year old and you can’t even say the words. If you can’t name it you can’t solve it.

    8) our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously – clearly not enough. This was a catastrophic error on our part. Basic cursory checks take seconds and we have form on this…we know we do.

    9) Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected as a result of these offences – this is the worst for me. Anonymising and distancing and sanitising again. ‘all those affected’? It was a ten year old little girl, completely defenceless and held in the attic of a green party campaign hq, no doubt lured under trust, by a grown man calling himself ‘Baloo’.

    10) offering her [Aimee] our support at this challenging time – Everyone else is adult enough to seek help, get help, be offered help, and no doubt it will be forthcoming from the party, but our “thoughts” should be with and for one person only, that little girl, followed closely by her family. We should be offering our unconditional support to the victim and family, by promising and demonstrating that we will carry out a completely impartial and professional investigation, by qualified people, who know how to cope and deal with the sensitivities.

    Gutted and ashamed of this “statement”. This statement shows a complete lack of compassion and sound judgement. The victim was ‘othered’ and distanced and she did not form the heart of the statement as she should have. Ultimately, the measure of a mature and professional group or individual is to unequivocally take responsibility for their behaviour and adult choices. Infantilising milieux just lead to the state of the Ouroboros.

    A thorough forensic investigation by an impartial outside agency should ensue forthwith, this little girl deserves nothing less from us.

    • Jessica, thanks for such a clear statement. You speak for many, many of us I am sure. We need to look at the GPEX comms team perhaps, since I suspect they were responsible for this statement, which as you no doubt know, has now been revised and updated. I am the Somerton &Frome candidate.

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