Exclusive: Cardiff primary school may have hosted meeting organised by inflammatory anti-trans group
Questions are being raised on Friday after a primary school in Cardiff was implicated as the site of a meeting organised by a controversial anti-trans group.
Feminist group A Woman’s Place UK (WPUK), which hosts regular meetings to discuss potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act, was booted from its original venue, a local Mercure hotel, on Thursday.
The Mercure Cardiff Holland House hotel announced in a tweet that an unnamed event due to be held at the hotel had been cancelled, as they did not tolerate “racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour.”
“For this reason, we have cancelled an event that had been booked at our hotel to reinforce our position,” the hotel said in a tweet which has since been deleted.
Although the hotel did not disclose the event, A Woman’s Place UK confirmed that its booking with the hotel had been nixed.
The group has campaigned against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act that would allow trans people to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate.
After the cancellation of their original venue, WPUK tweeted that they had found an alternative location to host Thursday’s meeting.
None of the attendees of the event publicly broadcast where the event was eventually held. However, sources claim that it was held at Roath Park Primary School in Cardiff.
Several people have compared tweets sent by A Woman’s Place UK of their event on Thursday to other photos available of the inside of the school, including one photo posted by ice hockey team the Cardiff Devils on a recent visit to Roath Park Primary.
(Photo: @CardiffDevils / Twitter)
Neither Roath Park Primary School nor the local authority responsible for the school, responded to PinkNews’ request for comment. The school is currently closed due to the Easter holidays.
According to the Cardiff Council government records, local Labour Party councillor Sue Lent is a governor of the school. Lent has also openly supported the A Woman’s Place conference that took place on Thursday on numerous occasions, including as recently as Wednesday.
(Photo: Sue Lent / Facebook)
In another post on March 13, Lent said she was “so excited that A Woman’s Place is coming to Wales.”
When asked for comment about the connection between herself, the school and A Woman’s Place, Lent denied she helped the group secure a new location for the meeting at Roath Park Primary School.
Lent told PinkNews the original venue, the Mercure hotel, cancelled the Woman’s Place booking due to “unfounded allegations made against us.”
On Friday, a spokesperson for the Mercure Cardiff Holland House hotel said it decided to cancel the meeting on Thursday over security concerns. The hotel, however, apologised for what it called an “unauthorised” tweet posted on its Twitter account.
“The decision to cancel an event on Thursday 12th at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House was taken in the best interests of hotel guests and staff after concerns were raised about their safety, which is our priority, due to potential disruption and protests,” the Mercure spokesperson told PinkNews.
“The decision in no way implied any judgement on the views of those organising the event, or those protesting against it. While we are a leader in encouraging diversity and inclusion in all its forms, it is not our policy to pass comment on the view of others.
“Regrettably an unauthorised tweet was posted on behalf of the hotel which did not accurately reflect the position of the hotel the Mercure brand or AccorHotels, and which has since been removed.”
The statement continued: “We have taken action to ensure this can’t be repeated and are reviewing our processes. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by this miscommunication.”
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Pro-trans groups Pride Cymru and the Wales Equality Alliance protested against the A Woman’s Place meeting outside Cardiff’s National Museum.
Jenny Charles from Wales Equality Alliance told PinkNews that this protest was intended to highlight the impact of hate crime and speech on both the trans community and wider society.
Charles said: “It was made clear by a number of speakers [at the protest] that modern feminism is trans-inclusive and attempts to segregate women based on biology is oppressive and regressive.”
“It is not good enough to claim the right to abuse and demonise a minority on the principle of free speech. Hate speech causes fear and division and moves us further away from a truly free and democratic society.
“WPUK falsely claimed when attacking the venue, that they are not guilty of hate and bigotry. We disagree,” said Charles, “based on a body of evidence that proves WPUK have hosted speakers advocating the use of conversion therapy on trans children and routinely smear trans women to build a case for reversing progress in trans rights.”
A Woman’s Place UK did not respond to a request for comment.