The Challenor scandal is not over

Aimee Knight’s (née Challenor) recent sacking - and brand damage - at Reddit, shouldn’t surprise anyone who saw what happened with the Green Party and the Lib Dems.

But what’s much more common than this explosive departure has been Aimee’s acquisition of power and the subsequent quashing of freedom of speech while he pursues his own, disturbing agenda. Below is a list of just SEVEN institutions he infiltrated (there are several more).

If you’ve only just been introduced to Aimee you may be wondering just how a person who has been found by an official investigation to have little to no understanding of safeguarding is so good at circumventing the safeguarding procedures of so many organisations. The answer is a combination of learned behaviour – Aimee’s father and election agent / campaigns assistant, David ‘Baloo’ Challenor, a convicted rapist and paedophile, who apparently influenced several of Aimee’s fetishes, was adept at infiltrating organisations, charities and events and making himself useful enough to be given positions of influence and access to children - and the eagerness of these organisations to be seen to be promoting trans people and trans ideology. There are also darker reasons why Aimee was welcomed into organisations such as Prism LGBTQ+ youth club with open arms (more on this later).

Here’s just some of the official positions Aimee has held in the past few years.

The Green Party

Aimee was lauded as a ‘rising star’ of the Green Party, becoming chair of LGBTQIA+ Greens in 2015 and the party’s official equality spokesperson in 2016, while in his mid-late teens. He later stood as a Green candidate in local council elections and as the parliamentary candidate for Coventry South in 2017, with his father David as his election agent both times.

After failing to win a seat, Aimee stood in the deputy leadership election in 2018, but dropped out when the extent of his father’s crimes, and Aimee’s knowledge of the charges before appointing David as agent, emerged.

David had been an influential local member of the Green Party and supported, if not impelled, motions Aimee raised at a local and national level which dictated party policy. These motions were mostly focused on gender-identity and self-ID, or lowering safeguarding standards. For example, Aimee was named as one of the proposers of an amendment to Green Party policy in 2017, which made it more difficult to expel convicted criminals from the party.

Father and son were also accomplished at using the party’s disciplinary process to quell opposition, resorting to threatening litigation if this failed, as Green Party member Andy Healey discovered.

While Aimee’s trans status granted him access to senior roles, despite his young age, David ‘Baloo’ Challenor shadowed him at events, often acting as official photographer and assistant. David mixed with young activists and even attended a picnic involving members’ children weeks before going on trial for kidnapping a child, and torturing and raping her, in the house that Aimee lived in. Aimee was suspended after his father was convicted and quit the party in 2018, citing transphobia. The Verita report into the Green Party’s actions following the allegations and charges brought against David Challenor found that they failed to recognise the enormous safeguarding implications of David’s arrest and the charges against him, but saw the issue ‘primarily a communications one – about protecting the reputation of the party.’

Stonewall

Aimee became a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group in 2015 and was still secretary of the influential group after his father was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison. While Aimee officially left his position days after the Knight revelations, their ‘A Vision for Change: Acceptance without exception for trans people 2017-22’ handbook still bears Aimee’s name. 

In this handbook, the Trans Advisory Group provides advice to children’s and young people’s services and education institutions, as well as the police, courts and the NHS, and recommends Mermaids as a major resource. Stonewall representatives deliver training directly to teachers and school staff. Aimee remained on Stonewall’s Trans Advisory Group until he was silently removed from their website just after this article by Graham Linehan was published in 2019.

Girlguiding

Stonewall certainly influenced Girlguiding’s decision to effectively become a mixed sex organisation by allowing boys who identify as girls to become members and men who identify as women to become Girl Guide leaders. Experienced female leaders, such as Helen Watts, who alerted Girlguiding to potential safeguarding issues, were found to have breached Girlguiding’s code of conduct and were dismissed.

Girlguiding denies that any input from Aimee via Stonewall influenced this policy change but Aimee was on the Trans Advisory Panel when the advice was given. Aimee appeared to emphasise his connection to Girlguiding by posting a photo of himself with a Girlguiding donators’ badge in 2019. Note the shiny new blue tick on his Twitter account, gained after official applications for this accolade had closed, and just days after the Verita report had concluded that Aimee didn’t follow or understand child safeguarding protocols.

Coventry Pride

In 2016 and 2017 Aimee was a trustee of Coventry Pride, a charity David also volunteered for. Coventry Pride admit they were aware of the charges against David in 2016 and prevented him from volunteering at their events at that point. Aimee’s own blog, however, reveals David photographed him at a Pride event in June 2017 - therefore ignoring the ruling that he must not bring a man about to be charged for child rape to their events.

Prism

One of the most disturbing revelations regarding Aimee’s infiltration of child-centred organisations concerned his relationship with the LGBTQ+ Coventry-based youth group Prism (aimed at ages 13-18). Amy was vice-chair of the police-backed charity, also heavily linked with Coventry Pride and Mermaids. Pre-Covid, Prism worked with schools, arranged regular day and evening trips, offered workshops on sexual topics and ‘Risky Behaviours’ and adults held one-to-one sessions with children. Alongside Challenor, Prism’s leadership group has included a primary school teacher who posts inappropriate content on social media.

Most worrying of all is the revelation that the alleged former chair of Prism is now a convicted paedophile who physically abused at least one very young child in his care and was convicted of possessing many indecent images of children.

Lib Dems

Aimee joined the Liberal Democrats in October 2018, soon after leaving the Greens. He immediately began to ingratiate himself with the local branch and became their Diversity Officer, which gave him access to national events and senior Lib Dem politicians, such as the then-leader, Jo Swinson, former leader Vince Cable and current leader Ed Davey. He also attended at least one university event as a representative of the Lib Dems at which the Labour representative was Lily Madigan, a fellow trans-identified male with a history of abusive behaviour towards women. During Aimee’s time with the Lib Dems, gender critical women who questioned whether there was space for discussion of women’s rights and single sex provision in the party were told by former Lib Dem minister, Baroness Featherstone, ‘you are not feminists. Your views are not welcome in the Liberal Democrats.’

Aimee was suspended by the Lib Dems after his now-husband’s paedophilic posts were made public on Mumsnet.

Aimee’s unchecked ascent within both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats is impressive but sadly unsurprising when local branches, including those of the larger parties, rely heavily on volunteers who turn up to meetings and involve themselves in the everyday running of the party at a provincial level. Aimee’s trans status, and the enormous privileges it grants, accelerated his rise to power and meant it could not easily be questioned. Sonia Poulton covers it in this video.

Reddit

Aimee’s links to Reddit have now alerted many more people to the level of influence he, and others like him, have on young people and freedom of speech. Aimee has been a Reddit moderator and power moderator for years, working on subreddits such as r/lgbt, r/trans, r/JoeBiden, and subs specifically aimed at children, such as r/transgenderteens and r/animalcrossing. No checks are carried out on mods such as Aimee, his partner Katrina Swales (also a power mod until now) and other close associates, who are extremely influential and exert considerable power regarding censorship on the site.

As Graham Linehan documented earlier this month, Aimee announced that Reddit had employed him as an administrator. When Reddit members questioned Aimee’s suitability for the role some were banned and all references to his name were deleted, provoking a ‘strike’ by moderators who made their subs private as a protest. Reddit initially lied that this censorship was prompted by fears for Aimee’s safety after he had been ‘doxed’, but have since removed Aimee from his position and admitted they had not carried out any background checks on him before employing him. After further protestation from members, Katrina Swales’s account also appears to have been deleted. We can only hope that Reddit will now review its policies regarding safeguarding young and vulnerable members from potential child abusers and ensure Aimee and Katrina don’t return to positions of power via alternative accounts. A quick glance at Reddit today will show you that the Aimee saga has, temporarily at least, empowered those whose voices were silenced by abusive misogynist moderators.

Contrary to reports, Aimee is still in the UK (Aberdeen), although hoping to emigrate to join his husband in Michigan. His previous responses to being found to have behaved inappropriately suggest that he has little to no grasp of the seriousness of his father’s crimes, or his husband’s confession, let alone the implications of his own behaviour. When interviewed by the BBC about the sentencing of his father and his own future after leaving the Green Party, he commented, ‘I don’t think I’m going to live a boring life’, and when asked for a statement by Sonia Poulton after supposedly quitting politics when the Liberal Democrats ended his membership, he wrote:

‘It’s been one hell of a ride. I gave it my all and made some great memories along the way. I always tried to do what I thought was right, and sometimes I got things wrong; after all, I’m only human. At the end of it all, we changed the world. Don’t let them claw it all back. Remember the good times, and push onwards.’

These are the words of a young man whose psyche has been irreparably skewed by a lifetime of grooming and also by years of being awarded unearned power and undeserved accolades due to his trans identity. There are many similar stories out there.

The Challenor scandal is not over. It’s barely even begun.

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