One of the Vice Chairs of the Conservative Party has mocked gender-neutral bathrooms and safe-spaces at a Labour event.
Ben Bradley is the Member of Parliament for Mansfield and Conservative Party’s Vice Chair for Youth.
The politician stoked a backlash online after making light of a message from the organiser of a London Young Labour meeting.
The message said: “Good morning! Coming to London Young Labour AGM?
“The safe space room is in the Staff and Research Students common room through the double doors on your way in. The main caucus room is next to it in the Nyholm Room. There are gender neutral toilets by the lecture theatre.”
Mr Bradley had responded: “I really really wish this was a parody… but I have a feeling it might just be real!! 😢😣😔”
His comments quickly earned criticism from the LGBT+ Conservatives group.
They wrote: “Hi, Ben. Please do get in touch with us so that we can explain why gender-neutral toilets are really a welcome move for #trans people. 😀😀😀”
He did not reply.
Some on social media questioned why the Conservative Party official tasked with winning over younger voters was making light of youth activists.
One response said: “Ben, I’m a fan, but this tweet is crap. Stuff like safe spaces and gender neutral spaces are what young people (including young tories) are starting to expect. Don’t mock just because they’re not important to you.”
Another added: “What is it about this that you object to? Seriously, what have you lost by these small acts of kindness between people with whom you’d never associate?”
Mr Bradley, 28, was recently forced to apologise for blog posts he wrote in his early 20s suggesting poor people should be sterilised and encouraging police brutality against rioters.
Prior to the blog posts surfacing, he had claimed to the Spectator: “In the modern world I think we’re pretty much going to find that nearly everybody has said something in the past that may not have been sensible and if that becomes ‘if you have ever tweeted anything crude then you are barred from public office’ then we won’t have many public servants left.
“I was really frustrated when Toby Young resigned because actually I thought he had the right credentials for the job and I think we need to stick by our guns a bit and not be shouted down by the Left.”
A ‘safe space’ at a conference is a quiet room available for anyone who needs to take a moment away from the main crowd.
Gender-neutral bathrooms are available for people who do not wish to use or do not feel comfortable using ‘male’ or ‘female’ bathrooms.
The LGBT+ Conservatives group last week had to apologise for a joke referring to ‘transphobic’ MP David Davies as a “c*nt”.
David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth, is one of the most virulent opponents of transgender rights in the House of Commons, repeatedly making offensive jokes at the expense of trans people and appearing in the media to call for transgender equality to be rolled back.
The politician’s stance attracted a jibe from his own party’s LGBT+ group.
They had written: “David TC Davies’ transphobic views are abhorrent and out of kilter with Conservative Party policy.
“It’s clear that the T in his name stands for transphobe. It’s equally clear what the C stands for.”
Davies immediately demanded an apology, posting the swear word in full in the process. He wrote: “It is appalling that a Conservative group which purports to stand for equality is willing to allude to the word “c*nt” to describe MPs it doesn’t like. You are a disgrace.”
He added: “Implied use of word a “c*nt” is abusive & misogynistic. You’re an official Conservative group. We are against social media abuse. I’ll be making official complaint to @BrandonLewis on Monday.”
The LGBT+ Conservatives have now apologised for the incident.
They wrote: “As @DavidTCDavies has requested an apology for our tweet on Saturday we would like to officially apologise to him for the tweet and any offence cause.
“We will continue to debate with him vigorously on #trans rights but in a mutually respectful way. The tweet has now been deleted.”