The LGB Alliance has shared a letter purportedly from Boris Johnson’s office, thanking the anti-trans pressure group for its “incredible hard work”.
The group claims it received a letter signed on behalf of the prime minister, saying he was “delighted to learn” about its first annual conference, which is being held Thursday (21 October).
The letter addresses co-founders Bev Jackson and Kate Harris, noting that they invited Johnson to attend the conference last week on 15 October.
“The prime minister is delighted to learn of this ground-breaking event,” the letter, signed by Mandy Godridge reads, “and is aware of what a truly momentous occasion this will be.”
Johnson is “unfortunately” unable attend the conference due to “pressures on his diary”, the letter adds.
“However, on his behalf,” Godridge continues, “I would like to thank the LGB Alliance for their incredible hard work and send my best wishes for a successful conference.”
We appreciate the support of MPs and peers from all parties. Today, we are delighted and honoured to receive congratulations on our “incredible hard work” from the Prime Minister, @BorisJohnson as well as his best wishes for our conference. #LGBAlliance2021 👇 pic.twitter.com/wLdOWvyVDV
— LGB Alliance (@ALLIANCELGB) October 21, 2021
After the letter was published, veteran LGBT+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told PinkNews: “Boris Johnson has made a huge and shameful misjudgment. He is colluding with an avowedly anti-trans organisation. This letter signals that our prime minister does not respect trans people and is on the side of their oppressors.”
Downing Street did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The LGB Alliance has faced incredible backlash since its launch in 2019, has been accused of transphobia and has been labelled a hate group. It purports to “advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals”, but focuses its attention on attacking trans rights. The group has denied its rhetoric is transphobic and claims to “support the rights of transsexuals to equality under the law”.
Its status as a registered charity is massively controversial, and the subject of an upcoming legal battle. Labour’s shadow minister for women and equalities, Taiwo Owatemi, last week said that the group “should be rejected by all those who believe in equality”.
Tatchell added: “The LGB Alliance does not campaign on LGB issues in the UK or internationally. It is focussed on opposing trans rights. The founder Bev Jackson has said the group’s goal is to challenge gender identity. She admits that it has collaborated with right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation that are anti-gay, anti-abortion and oppose same-sex marriage.”
Tatchell acknowledged that while the prime minister regularly sends replies like this when he is declining an invitation, Johnson will be aware of the LGB Alliance’s nature and reputation. “There is a limit,” he said.
The LGB Alliance, however, rejoiced in what it said was a ringing endorsement from the prime minister.
“We appreciate the support of MPs and peers from all parties,” the LGB Alliance tweeted.
“Today, we are delighted and honoured to receive congratulations on our ‘incredible hard work’ from the prime minister, Boris Johnson as well as his best wishes for our conference.”
The Conservatives welcomed the LGB Alliance gladly to its own conference last month.