Tory councillor calls for public burning of John Lewis cards over gender-neutral policy
A senior Tory councillor has suggested public burning of John Lewis loyalty cards, after the store opted to make clothes gender-neutral.
The comments come after UK department store John Lewis announced that it would no longer market clothing under the labels ‘girls’ and ‘boys’.
The retailer is not making any material changes to its line, but has instead opted to market all clothes as childrenswear instead of specifically labelling items with one gender.
The change has angered Luke Stubbs, a Conservative councillor and the Deputy Leader of Portsmouth Council.
Writing on the John Lewis Facebook page, Mr Stubbs appeared to suggest that an aggrieved customer carry out public burning of John Lewis loyalty cards.
A customer upset about the policy had has asked: “How do I cancel my store membership reward card, I will not support a store that bows down to such pc claptrap”.
Responding to the complaint, Mr Stubbs wrote: “I agree with you. John Lewis has turned itself into a contemptible politically correct joke.
“My advice? Try and get a few people together then film yourself burning them and send it to the media.
“Also, make a point of writing to the store and tell them you will never use them again. I don’t shop there anyway, but if I did I’d be an ex-customer now.”
Speaking to PinkNews, Mr Stubbs said: “My comments relate to the store’s policy of marketing skirts, dresses and bras to boys.
“My opposition to this is shared by a majority in this country, yet a loud, but tiny fringe that seeks to eliminate cisgendered behaviour is setting the agenda.
“I would encourage John Lewis customers to send the store a clear message and if that includes destroying their loyalty cards then so be it.”
He added: “In politics, even local politics, it is very easy to collect enemies who wish to distort things.”
PinkNews has contacted John Lewis for comment.
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The department store had announced the change last week.
Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear at John Lewis, said: “We introduced new non-gender specific John Lewis stitched labels and combined ‘Girls & Boys’ swing tags to clothing for John Lewis own label collections in 2016.
“We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”
The shift came after efforts from the ‘Let Clothes Be Clothes’ campaign, an offshoot of the ‘Let Toys Be Toys’ group which has led the charge against needless gendering of products.
Last month a Labour councillor was forced out of the party after PinkNews revealed that she has posted anti-LGBT messages on social media.
Responding to critics Cllr Chika Amadi insisted: “You did not vote me in and You cannot remove me. Keep your mouth where your money is. Keep busy and stop nosing around.”
She was suspended by the Labour Party within hours of PinkNews’ report.