Caroline Lucas attempted to suspend a Sutton Councillor from the Green Party for tweeting an article that claimed the Greens had been offered £250,000 to stand aside in the Richmond Park byelection.

The Green Party co-leader claimed councillor Nick Mattey had brought the party into disrepute by spreading the assertion in a tweet posted days after the December 1 byelection.

Cllr Mattey tweeted on December 8 that the Liberal Democrats and the Greens had planned to “carve up” Kingston and included a screen grab from an article published on the Guido Fawkes website.

The article claimed the Green Party had been offered the money ahead of the byelection in order to cement a ‘progressive alliance’.

However, it was not accepted after it failed to pass donation scrutiny, according to a report published by Kingston Greens Ryan Coley, Clare Keogh and Kieron Merrett.

The Green Party ultimately did not field a candidate for the byelection, which was won by Lib Dem Sarah Olney who beat for MP Zac Goldsmith, standing as an independent.

Read more: Richmond reacts to Sarah Olney's shock Richmond Park and North Kingston by-election win over Zac Goldsmith

Cllr Mattey joined the Greens after being expelled from the Lib Dems in 2016 for opposing controversial plans to build an incinerator.

Read more: Expelled Lib Dem councillor Nick Mattey to chain himself to incinerator in protest of the controversial project

He has since decided not to renew his membership and confirmed he would stand as an independent candidate during the council elections in May, next year.

Cllr Mattey said: “I was unhappy with the Greens for going into coalition with the Lib Dems in Richmond. From an environmental point the Lib Dems are a disaster and I made my views fully public.

“This upset Caroline Lucas and she decided to take action against me. I was not going to renew my membership anyway, I was just affiliated with the Greens as we fought together against the incinerator.

“The Green Party in Sutton and Croydon fantastically supportive and they actually wanted me to renew my membership, but I won’t because of their stance with the Lib Dems over last year’s by-election.”

A spokesman for Caroline Lucas said: “A number of spurious claims about the Richmond byelection have been printed online, including a factually inaccurate report that was widely shared. We do not comment on internal party matters but would point out that Nick Mattey is no longer a member or representative of the Green Party.”