Ann Widdecombe to boycott Red Cross, after it dropped volunteer over anti-gay marriage protest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Ann Widdecombe has said that she will no longer support the Red Cross, after it dropped a volunteer who staged a one-man protest against gay weddings.

UKIP candidate Bryan Barkley, 71, protested in Wakefield in March this year when same-sex weddings began, holding placards that said “No same sex marriage” and “No redefinition of marriage”.

Following the incident, the charity withdrew his opportunity to volunteer, citing the “fundamental principles of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and the values of the British Red Cross”.


Writing for the Daily Express, the retired Tory politician wrote: “I have withdrawn all support for the Red Cross, an organisation which I have backed in various ways throughout my life.

“Let us be clear: the issue here is not whether one supports gay marriage or not but whether one should be free to state a position.


“Parliament was given assurance after assurance that freedom of conscience would be respected if the law on marriage was changed. What price those promises now, Mr Cameron?


“I challenge Mr Cameron to condemn the Red Cross for this decision and if he does not then we must assume that this was the sort of country he wanted all along.”

Widdecombe has consistently voted against gay rights, opposing an equal age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, the Equality Act, same-sex adoption and civil partnerships. She has expressed support for ‘gay cure’ therapy