Attendees at Tory LGBT event during conference 'received homophobic abuse'

5 October 2022, 22:02 | Updated: 5 October 2022, 22:05

An LGBT Conservatives event took place at Reflex bar (right) during the Conservative party conference
An LGBT Conservatives event took place at Reflex bar (right) during the Conservative party conference. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

An event celebrating the LGBT community at the Conservative party conference was marred with reports of homophobic abuse.

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The event was held at Birmingham's Reflex nightclub on Tuesday night and was organised by LGBT Conservatives, a group for gay, bisexual and trans members of the party.

It was supposed to celebrate diversity within the party - but instead attendees told ITV news they had been subject to homophobic abuse.

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Two attendees claimed someone had to be escorted from the venue for using an extremely derogatory term to describe a gay man.

Another was removed for allegedly using an offensive word derived from the word 'lesbian'.

The event took place at Reflex nightclub and bar in Birmingham
The event took place at Reflex nightclub and bar in Birmingham. Picture: Alamy

The event was open to anyone with a security pass, including party members and lobbyists.

Elena Bunbury, chair of LGBT Conservatives, tweeted: "The abuse my team at @LGBTCons have had tonight is disgusting.

"We’ve run a free event and it’s spoilt by the few that feel the need to to be abusive, not on at all.

"Thank you to those who were respectful, it means a lot".

Jessica Zbinden-Webster, Head of Women for LGBT Conservatives, also tweeted, writing: "A lot of people showed themselves up at the @LGBTCons party last night."

She then clarified she was referencing homophobic abuse, saying in response to a reply: "We were on the door receiving homophobic abuse."

Conservative members during the conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham
Conservative members during the conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Picture: Alamy

Labour's shadow equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds said the reports were "deeply troubling".

A Conservative spokesperson said: "We have had discussions with LGBT+ Conservatives regarding this incident, which took place outside of the conference secure zone, and offered them our support.

Watch: Tories remain 'miserable and divided' after Liz Truss' speech, says Andrew Marr

"If those involved are identified as members of the party, we will launch swift investigations.

"Any form of discrimination or abuse is wrong and complaints can be made in confidence under our code of conduct."

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