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Scout manager suspended after extreme anti-trans and Islamophobic tweets claiming trans women ‘can never be women’

Emma Powys Maurice November 22, 2019

The UK Scout Association is served by 160,000 adult volunteers who go through a "stringent" vetting process (File photo: Tim Graham/Getty)

A training manager for South Ribble Scouts in Lancashire has been suspended after a series of extreme anti-trans and Islamophobic tweets she wrote emerged online.

Julie Harbot volunteered as a district local training manager while also working at HWR Accountants in Preston. She was suspended from the Scouts after an anonymous source reported several offensive tweets from her Twitter account.

The account has now been deleted, but Harbot’s offensive comments were seen by PinkNews before this happened.

In one anti-trans tweet she wrote: “Men don’t have [female genitals] – scientific fact. This idiocy needs stamping out – stop giving these mentally retarded idiots any oxygen to their stupid ideas.”

Another read: “Regardless of surgery, they are as they were born, no amount of cosmetic surgery will ever change that. I don’t have to consider anything other than the safety of others, especially girls, exposed to these men pretending to be women.”

Another tweet from earlier this month read: “This self identifying nonsense needs to be stopped. Men can drag up if they wish but they will never ever be women.”

These views contradict the Scouts’ official policy on supporting trans children, which advises staff “to listen without making any judgements or assumptions,” adding that “it is the responsibility of all adults to act as role models by celebrating diversity and creating an environment in which all members can enjoy safe, inclusive Scouting.”

The trans-inclusive guidance also covers correct use of pronouns, changes to uniform and shower and toilet facilities.

In other tweets, Harbot targeted the Muslim community and “rife immigration turning working class towns into third world ghettos.”

“In the 70s we had people from the Caribbean who worked, and some Pakistanis who integrated,” she wrote. “Never before did we have pyjama wearing Muslim men, burka clad women, separate schools, so many mosques, halal meat. It’s sad the country is ruined.”

“They need to be told to f**k off,” she said in a separate tweet. “There shouldn’t even be a Muslim Council of Britain.”

Following PinkNews enquiries, the UK Scout Association confirmed on November 21 that they had suspended Harbot from the Scout Movement due to concerns “about her suitability to hold a leadership role.” Harbot subsequently resigned.

“Concerns were first raised with us on Tuesday 19 November and we have been working to confirm that the Twitter account belonged to the person in question,” a spokesperson said.

“The Scout Movement is a values-based organisation and as Scouts we are guided by these values: integrity, respect, care, belief and co-operation.”

They added that the Scout Association carries out a “stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people” and requires them to work to a strict code of practise.

“We have 640,000 current members in the UK and some 10 million since Scouting began in 1907. All of our leaders are trained volunteers, working to make sure Scouting is safe, inclusive and accessible.

“We expect all members to work with our values in mind and take robust action against anyone who doesn’t.”

PinkNews reached out to Harbot but had received no response at the time of publication.

More: lancashire, Scout Movement, Scouts, UK Scout Association

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