UK

Liberal Democrats boss shuts down LGB Alliance’s claim it will attend party conference

Josh Milton July 13, 2022
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An activist holds a transgender pride flag at a protest by Transgender Action Block and supporters outside the first annual conference of the LGB Alliance at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on 21st October 2021.

The LGB Alliance has been branded a 'hate group' by LGBTQ+ community leaders. (Getty/ Mark Kerrison)

The Liberal Democrats has denied the LGB Alliance’s claim that it has been given a spot at the party’s conference.

On 8 July, the LGB Alliance announced that it has applied to attend “all of the party conferences”, though it did not clarify which ones, and that it was “delighted to announce that we’ll be running a stand and a fringe event at the Lib Dems’ annual bash”.

“Looking forward to some open and productive conversations about LGB rights & representation,” the LGB Alliance tweeted.

Liberal Democrats CEO Mike Dixon quickly shot this down on Twitter.

“This is not correct. To confirm: you do not have a stand or a fringe at Lib Dem Conference,” he tweeted.

“I have checked with the team and there has been an administrative error.” The Liberal Democrats confirmed this to PinkNews.

Liberal Democrat peer Sarah Ludford slammed the decision to exclude the LGB Alliance, a group set up in opposition to Stonewall’s trans-inclusive stance, and which spends most, if not all of its energy campaigning against the furthering of trans rights.

“This is a great pity,” she tweeted 9 July, quoting the Liberal Democrats’ constitution: “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society … in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”

Clashing with users who called the LGB Alliance a “hate group”, Ludford said this was an “unfounded accusation”.

“They emphatically are not,” she said.

“I do not speak for [the LGB Alliance]. But setting up a charity to focus exclusively on the protected characteristic of sexual orientation is not wrong, or hateful, or transphobic, simply a reasonable choice for them to make, like any new charity which wants a focus to its work,” Lugdorf added.

The LGB Alliance attended the Conservative Party Conference in 2021, a decision which sparked intense criticism of the party.

It remains unclear which, if any, party conferences the group will attend this year.

The Daily Mail has reported that the LGB Alliance was declined a spot at the Labour Party conference.

The Green Party told PinkNews it couldn’t confirm whether the LGB Alliance had applied to its conference, owing to data protection laws.

A Green Party spokesperson said: “We aren’t able to share information about who has or hasn’t applied for a stall at our conference, but we assess any group that does based on whether their aims support or contravene the Green Party’s ethos and policies.”

The Conservative Party had not replied to a request for information at the time of writing.

However, LGBT+ Conservatives, the party’s official queer wing, said the group has no say on what people or groups can set up shop at October’s Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Asked if the group would oppose the LGB Alliance being given a stand at the conference, the LGBT+ Conservatives said: “We look forward to representing all parts of the LGBT+ community both day-to-day and at the conference.”

The LGB Alliance has been heavily condemned by MPs, charities and trade unions for its anti-trans campaigning.

It was awarded charity status in 2021, sparking widespread backlash. An appeal against the decision is due to be heard later this year.

The LGB Alliance has viciously campaigned against vital gender recognition reforms, gender-affirming healthcare for young people and letting trans people use single-sex spaces and services.

It claims to defend the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and denies that it is transphobic.

More: lgb alliance, Liberal Democrats

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