Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May has given her full support to her embattled replacement, Annamie Paul, on Tuesday.
“I stepped down as leader of the Green Party less than two years ago, despite our best ever results in electing three MPs, knowing it was time for new leadership,” she said in a statement. “That new leader is Annamie Paul.”
Paul was facing a non-confidence vote from the party’s federal council that she confirmed Monday had been cancelled. She opened up about the difficulty she has experienced since becoming leader of the party.
“This experience has been incredibly painful for me and for my family, and I want to be up front about that. It is extremely hard to have your integrity questioned when you value it so much,” she said Monday.
In early June, Green MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to the Liberals after expressing her stance on the Israel-Palestinian conflict on Twitter — a move that has since made public internal party conflicts.
May, currently one of the Greens’ only two MPs, said on Tuesday that Atwin’s defection remains “deeply troubling.”
“That loss is painful, but the misplaced anger, blame and name-calling that have followed it are doing even more damage than the event itself,” she said.
May has avoided the spotlight since stepping down as the party’s leader after 13 years at the helm and said she has played no role in the federal council, which has been central in the movement against Paul.
She emphasized that “only members” have the authority to call Paul’s leadership into question.
“We need to pull together for what appears to be an imminent election campaign,” she said.