Hotel cancels anti-trans meeting as it doesn’t allow ‘bigoted behaviour’

A hotel has cancelled an event scheduled by anti-trans activists because they did not wish to support “racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour.”

A Welsh branch of the Mercure group of hotels announced that an unnamed event in the hotel would be cancelled, as the hotel did not tolerate “racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour.”

The Mercure Cardiff Holland House announced the cancellation on Twitter this week.

(Photo: @MercureCardiffHH)

They wrote: “Mercure Holland House does not tolerate any form of racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour. For this reason we have cancelled an event that had been booked at our hotel to reinforce our position.

“All members of our team are committed to eradicating any instances of discrimination.”

Although the hotel did not originally name the event, Woman’s Place UK confirmed on Twitter that it was its event that had been cancelled.

Woman’s Place UK is a self-titled feminist group that has faced several accusations of anti-trans behaviour in recent months.

The Mercure Cardiff Holland House (Photo: Creative Commons)

Much of the group’s work focuses on upcoming proposals to the gender recognition act, a 2004 law that allows transgender people to change their legal gender.

While the proposals will have little impact beyond allowing trans people to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate, the group is one of many to fiercely condemn the changes as ‘misogynistic’ and an ‘attack on women’s rights’.

At a Woman’s Place UK event last year transgender women were reportedly branded: “Horrible, hateful, misogynistic bastards.”

In response to the cancellation, the group wrote on Twitter: “We are astonished that in 2018 that women wanting to meet to discuss issues of material and legitimate concern to them are obstructed and slurred.”

The group then called the decision of the hotel “totally unnecessary.”

(Photo: @Womans_Place_UK)

“We are extremely disappointed that Mercure Cardiff Holland House has taken this totally unnecessary action. We absolutely refute the suggestion that WPUK is guilty of any bigotry or hate.”

A spokesperson for the hotel later said the since-deleted tweet had been “unauthorised” and did not reflect the decision of the hotel, before issuing an apology.

Following publication, a hotel spokesperson said to PinkNews: “The decision to cancel an event on Thursday 12th at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House was taken in the best interests of hotel guests and staff after concerns were raised about their safety, which is our priority, due to potential disruption and protests.

“The decision in no way implied any judgement on the views of those organising the event, or those protesting against it. While we are a leader in encouraging diversity and inclusion in all its forms, it is not our policy to pass comment on the view of others.

“Regrettably, an unauthorised tweet was posted on behalf of the hotel which did not accurately reflect the position of the hotel the Mercure brand or AccorHotels, and which has since been removed.”

The statement continued: “We have taken action to ensure this can’t be repeated and are reviewing our processes. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by this miscommunication.”

Women’s Place UK later confirmed it had found an alternative location in Cardiff which would be privately sent to attendees.

In the group’s forming mission statement, it says that “the accusation of ‘transphobia’ should not be used to shut down women’s voices.”

Related: 5 transgender women who shared their beautiful transition stories to inspire others

At least two campaigners who have spoken at recent WPUK events have been investigated by the Labour Party over allegations of abusive and ‘transphobic’ behaviour.

One of the founders of the group, Kiri Tunks, was recently installed as President of the National Education Union (NUT Section) and has since faced criticism upon her appointment over her record of controversial views.

In the past year, Ms Tunks has co-signed two open letters criticising the trans rights movement and has been vocal with her criticism proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, a Quaker Hall in the UK faced sharp criticism after hosting a Women’s Place UK meeting.

Chief Executive Office Sarah Donaldson defended the decision, saying: “My understanding is that the group are hosting a debate concerning changes to the Gender Recognition Act and is not campaigning against trans people in general.

“There are clearly differences in opinion as to whether they are or are not a transphobic hate group, and I appreciate that for some people that whatever decision I make will be disappointing and hurtful.”

Woman’s Place UK did not respond to request for comment.