Politician vows to boycott Primark over Pride display

A member of the Northern Ireland Assembly has vowed to boycott Primark because of its LGBT collection.

Jim Wells MLA, an outspoken member of the Democratic Unionist Party, grew upset at the window display at the branch of Primark in Belfast High Street ahead of the city’s Pride march on Saturday.

Speaking to UTV, Wells hit out at the decision.

Jim Wells MLA (Charles McQuillan/Getty)

He said: “People in Northern Ireland have strong Christian convictions and feel extremely uneasy about the whole ethos of the Gay Pride week and therefore you’re discouraging them from shopping in Primark.”

Accoding to UTV Wells added that “he won’t be shopping in Primark again and will be urging his family not to shop there either, unless the company revise their decision.”

The shop has been under fire from evangelical Christians in the Northern Irish city, who have taken exception to the window display.

One customer said: “My family and I will no longer be shopping in your store. The reason being, your company’s very in your face support of the political movements that are Stonewall and Pride.”

According to Belfast Live, another added: “As a customer of Primark I’m writing to complain about your current shop front display. It is indeed offensive and should be removed immediately.

“Considering your current display is anti family then how do you expect to get trade from people who believe in marriage between one man and one woman.

“Your display is also anti Christian and against the believes (sic) and teachings of the Bible.”

Primark will not be removing the display.

It said: “Primark’s position on LGBTQ rights is well-known and the company supports equality for all. It is proud to be supporting Pride, and proud of its partnership with Stonewall. ️‍ ”

Wells has previously branded Pride parades “repugnant”.

He told Belfast Pride in 2011: “I understand that you contacted my office regarding what is termed a ‘Belfast Pride’ debate.

“As you are probably know I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march totally repugnant.

“I do not therefore wish to be association in any way with this event.”

“My position on this matter will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time.”

The MLA recently called for LGBT events ‘promoting alternative lifestyles’ to be banned from the Northern Ireland Assembly buildings.

Primark announced earlier this year that it would start selling Pride-themed clothing at a select number of stores across the UK, Europe and US to celebrate Pride events,  with proceeds going to LGBT organisation Stonewall.

Primark said: “For Pride 2018, we’ve teamed up with the LGBT charity, Stonewall, to create a capsule range of Pride‐ready goodies.

“Conceived and developed in partnership with Stonewall, the range is packed full of Pride‐ready goodies AND 20% from full-price, Stonewall marked products will be donated directly to the charity itself.”

“The full collection is bursting with rainbow shades and motifs, as well as trendy‐savvy designs and key seasonal items.

“Best of all, 20% from all full ‐price Stonewall‐marked products will be donated directly to the charity itself, with the proceedings being used to support the community, globally.”

The deal led to anger from Pride organisers, who questioned why Stonewall was benefiting instead of local Pride organisers.

The range is primarily produced in places where it’s illegal to be gay.

A spokesperson for Primark confirmed that the products are “manufactured in China, Turkey and Myanmar… in accordance with internationally recognised standards.”