Elizabeth May won't be Green interim leader, says Annamie Paul hurting party

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May says Annamie Paul is hurting the Green Party by remaining in control of its communications.

Paul announced on Sept. 27 she would resign as leader, saying it had been the “worst period in my life.” Paul, the first Black and Jewish woman to lead a major federal party, said she was subject to racism and sexism by party members.

But since then, May says Paul still exerts control over party communications, which caused more internal strife when the party’s Indigenous president wanted to release a statement on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation but was allegedly unable to do so.

“We have a lot of soul searching to do,” said May, during an interview for CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday morning. “But the current situation of a leader, who has resigned but then hasn’t resigned, is untenable.”

May said she wouldn’t step in as the party’s interim leader, and instead wants Paul Manly to take on the role. Manly lost his seat in Nanaimo-Ladysmith during last month’s federal election.

Paul’s resignation follows disappointing results for the Green Party during the federal election, where they lost four per cent of the popular vote and Paul lost another bid for a seat in Toronto Centre. The party also failed to grow its seat count.

May says she would never question what a racialized person has experienced, but says Paul had more power than predecessors before her did.

“Annamie Paul’s contract gave her exclusive authority to appoint the campaign manager, exclusive authority to control all communication staff, any press release, anything posted on the website, 100 per cent are under her control,” said May.

Speaking to reporters on Sept. 27, Paul says she went into the federal election campaign without adequate staffing, funding or a national campaign manager.

Paul’s executive assistant Victoria Galea said there were instances when Annamie Paul could have seen more support from May.

“There definitely could have been more room cleared from the outgoing leader for our new leader to have growth and success,” said Galea, during an interview with CTV News Channel’s Power Play on September 27.

May disputes this and says she supported Paul during her leadership campaign and afterwards, when Paul became leader.

“I feel a bit like I'm subject to gaslighting here because I wasn't allowed to speak and I supported Annamie so much in the leadership, there's no question,” she said. “I would have done and did do whatever she asked of me.”

May says she offered to step aside in her riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, so that Paul could run for her seat as an alternative to Toronto Centre. May also says Paul forbid her from any media interviews to discuss internal party matters.

CTV News has reached out to Paul’s office for comment and has not heard back at the publishing time of this story.