Model Munroe Bergdorf quits as Labour LGBT adviser

Her appointment was criticised by Conservatives because of previous social media comments

The transgender model and campaigner Munroe Bergdorf has quit her role on the Labour party’s LGBT advisory board after attacks in the tabloid press and by Conservatives over comments she had made.

Bergdorf said she had been thrilled about the appointment, but said it had “turned into nasty tabloid fodder, blown out of all proportion”.

The model, who had previously ended a L’Oreal partnership over other controversial statements, said her words were taken out of context by newspapers. She has been criticised for social media posts in which she wrote that she no longer had the energy to talk about the “racial violence of white people any more”.

The post, published in the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August last year, continued: “Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism.”

Other tweets highlighted by Conservatives, included the party’s vice-chair Helen Grant, included one where Bergdorf said the suffragettes were “white supremacists who were fighting for WHITE women’s rights” and another in which she called gay Tory activists a “special kind of dickhead”.

I won't let this continue to be a distraction or stand in the way of the LGBT+ panel's success.

— Munroe Bergdorf 🌹🌹 (@MunroeBergdorf) March 6, 2018

In a statement posted on Twitter, Bergdorf said she had decided to step down from the role “with great sadness” and said Dawn Butler, the shadow equalities minister who appointed her, had been “nothing but supportive”.

“This is a decision that I’ve had to make due to endless attacks on my character by the conservative right wing press and relentless online abuse,” she said. “I refuse to be painted as a villain or used as a pawn in the press’ efforts, especially those at the Daily Mail, to discredit the Labour party and push their transphobic rightist agendas.”

Bergdorf said the role had been established as an “informal sounding board” for Butler and included more than 20 other LGBT activists and community figures. The role was unpaid, she said.

“I will not allow myself to be centred in this negative narrative but more importantly I don’t want to stand in the way of the board serving as a positive catalyst for change within the UK’s LGBT communities,” she said.

“I refuse to be used as a distraction from the upcoming discussions concerning the Gender Recognition Act and the Conservative party’s lack of action on the Racial Disparities Audit.”


Jessica Elgot Political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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