Mail criticises Nicky Morgan for meeting naked rowers at PinkNews Awards

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Nicky Morgan has been criticised by the Daily Mail for attending the PinkNews Awards 2014 and presenting an award to the Warwick Rowers.

The Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities attended the PinkNews Awards on 29 October, and presented the Community Group of the Year award to the rowers, who often pose naked to raise funds for good causes.

In a Mail report, the paper criticised Mrs Morgan for attending the awards, but for turning down a meeting with an organisation which works to commemorate Britain’s defeat of Napoleon in 1815.

The article criticised Mrs Morgan’s office because she had no time to meet with organisers of Waterloo 200, but because she did attend the PinkNews Awards.

It read: “Despite not having time to meet the campaigners, Mrs Morgan, who is also minister for women and equalities did manage, in October, to attend the second annual PinkNews Awards, hosted by the gay news service. There she presented an award to a group of university students who posed as ‘naked rowers’ to raised money for anti-bullying causes.”

David Huse of Waterloo 200 told the Mail: “I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to sit down for half an hour and go through what we want to do. It raises the prospect that they’re genuinely not interested in this, one of the most significant events in our history.”

A source close to Mrs Morgan told the Mail that she could not meet with Waterloo 200 because of “pressures on her diary”, and said: “Waterloo 200 has already held discussions with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which is leading on the 200th anniversary.”

Two months on from announcing her changed position on equal marriage, the Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan wrote jointly for PinkNews with the Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles to explain why 10 December 2014 would go down in LGBT rights history.