MP sent ‘torrent of abuse’ from LGB Alliance followers demands explanation for charity status

John Nicolson

SNP MP John Nicolson has written to the Charity Commission questioning why the LGB Alliance has been given charity status despite objections from LGBT+ groups.

There was outcry within the LGBT+ community on Tuesday (20 April) when the Charity Commission announced that it had registered the LGB Alliance as a charity in England and Wales.

Nicolson, who is gay, criticised the commission’s “disturbing” decision on Wednesday (21 April).

The MP said he was targeted with “a torrent of abuse” by LGB Alliance followers after the organisation offered to tweet the messages of followers who donated funds in his name.

The result, he said, was that a huge number of largely anonymous Twitter accounts hurled abuse at him.

The MP went on to explain that his disagreement with the LGB Alliance, in theory, is based in policy. He said he is a trans ally and is supportive of Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform.

Nicolson’s support for “this modest reform” has resulted in him being dog-piled with abusive messages from hateful Twitter trolls who have called him a “misogynist”, a “homophobe”, “woman-hating” and “rape-enabling”.

He wrote: “The Alliance has raised money by promising to retweet comments about me no matter how offensive. As a result, it was thrown off the country’s two largest crowd funder sites as a hate group.

“One such comment pretended to come from me saying: ‘Sometimes I like to dress up as a woman and talk to myself in the mirror while stroking my penis. Being a male MP means I can do whatever I want including insulting lesbians.'”

Nicolson said he can think “of no other charity which would behave in this sinister and disturbing way”.

SNP MP John Nicolson is worried about the LGB Alliance’s impact on young trans people

He went on to suggest that the Charity Commission shares his concerns, noting that it referenced unsavoury social media practices in its decision.

“Can you, therefore, explain to me why the abusive nature of the Alliance’s conduct hitherto was deemed an insufficient reason to refuse its application?” Nicolson asked.

The MP asked the Charity Commission if the LGB Alliance had offered any “explanation for its past conduct” or if leaders gave any promises about its “future behaviour” before it was granted charity status.

“Being on the receiving end of the Alliance’s venom is unpleasant for me as a politician, but I’m infinitely more concerned about the traumatic effect its activities have on one of the most vulnerable groups in society: trans people,” Nicolson wrote.

“I know from correspondence I’ve received just how distressing the venomous pile-ons are. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a young trans person, watching in despair as attack mobs – disproportionately using anonymous profiles – belittled their lived experience and their very existence as trans people.”

Nicolson added: “Some charity.”

LGBT+ organisations have reacted with disappointment to the Charity Commission’s decision, with trans youth charity Mermaids, LGBT+ rights group Stonewall and support organisation LGBT Foundation all speaking out against the move.

PinkNews has contacted the LGB Alliance and the Charity Commission for comment.