Tories urged to cut ties with ‘hate-filled’ right-wing, anti-LGBTQ+ group Turning Point UK

Turning Point UK protesters

Labour and the Lib Dems have called for the Conservative Party to end its association with ultra right-wing student group Turning Point UK.

The Lib Dems claim the organisation “promotes harmful and regressive ideas” about minorities. 

Opposition parties are urging the Conservatives to ditch their association with student group Turning Point UK, which is responsible for arranging anti-drag rallies in a bid to push the rhetoric that drag amounts to “grooming”. 

The organisation is an offshoot of an American far-right group closely aligned with former US president Donald Trump.

Turning Point UK describes itself as a “Conservative activist and political” organisation and claims it has no formal links to the Conservative Party, despite the fact that Conservative MP Marco Longhi is the group’s honorary president. 

‘Hate-filled views’

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran told PinkNews it is “deeply concerning” that any MPs are “associating with a group that promotes harmful and regressive ideas about women and minority groups”.

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“Clearly, it is not acceptable for any Member of Parliament to align themselves with these hate-filled views,” Moran said.

“Marco Longhi must remove himself from his position as honorary president and take action to ensure that Turning Point’s divisive and dangerous rhetoric is not given a platform in our society.”

‘Extremely concerning’

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party chair, echoed Moran’s views, calling the party “nasty” in comments given to The Guardian and stating that it’s “extremely concerning” to see “senior Conservatives associating themselves with what looks to most people an awful lot like a far-right group.”

A protest organised by Turning Point UK on 25 March at Honour Oak Pub – a hotspot for drag-related controversy – saw participants from the group hold banners featuring the slogan “groom dogs, not kids”

In February, anti-LGBTQ+ GB News host Calvin Robinson was joined by far-right pundits during the group’s previous protest that attempted to shut down a drag event.

Speakers at the group’s events have included Rikki Doolan, a pastor who argues women “should always be subject to the man” in marriage and who condemned the use of public building for Islamic prayers during Ramadan, the Guardian reported.

“We do not even oppose drag queen story hour events where the adults reading do not moonlight as adult performers,” Turning Point UK told PinkNews in a statement.

“Take a child entertainer like Mr Tumble, say you were five years old and went on his social media and he was twerking and swearing – you’d definitely be extremely confused.

“We hold child performers in high esteem because they are trusted to be role models. So our message is simple – if you want to perform for adults do so by all means but stay away from children.”

“However at a number of drag queen story hour events the performers have age inappropriate content all over their social media and our concern is that children will access this which has the potential to ruin a child’s innocence.”

In further evidence of Turning Point UK’s anti-trans views, the group’s chief operating officer, Nick Tenconi, uses his Twitter platform to whip up anti-trans hatred.

Most recently, he has been focused on “trans terrorism”, which he seems to imply in a quote tweet of a post by Gays Against Groomers, is the trans community pushing “their dangerous agenda onto minors”. 

According to the Guardian, Tenconi also tweeted last year that he was a “huge fan” of Kyle Rittenhouse, the young US man who shot dead two people at a protest and was acquitted of murder in 2021.

The group’s spokesperson stated that only tweets from the group’s Twitter page reflect Turning Point UK’s message, and they refused to comment on Tendon’s comments, but said the group believes in “free speech”, even if it disagrees. 

However, the group’s Twitter account isn’t free from pedalling right-wing rhetoric and lashing out at anything it deems “woke”. 

In response to the backlash over Anheuser-Busch – the parent company that makes Budweiser and Bud Light – working with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, the group’s account posted that Budweiser had lost money since it “pandered to the woke mob”, with the caption “go woke, go broke’. 

Dylan Mulvaney has been the target of virulent anti-trans hatred over her paid partnerships with Bud Light and Nike, and Budweiser factories in the US have received bomb threats.

On Sunday (16 April), Turning Point UK’s Twitter account posted an image of writing on a bathroom wall that reads: “Ladies only. No Toms. No Harrys. No Dicks. Males using this toilet will be prosecuted.” 

The group captioned the image: “In 2023 this is now a controversial statement …” 

A Turning Point UK spokesperson told the Guardian that Conservative MP Marco Longhi has “no day-to-day involvement with the running of TPUK”.

“Since Turning Point UK launched in 2019, we have had hundreds of external speakers and video contributors – including people we disagree with 99 per cent of the time but agree with on one issue. We certainly do not police people’s social media.”

The spokesperson added that it has “multiple Muslim members” and while it doesn’t believe all liberals are paedophiles, the group thinks there is “increasing evidence that some elements of the left are trying to normalise paedophilia”.

Turning Point UK is not associated with the charity Turning Point which is a social enterprise providing support with drugs and alcohol, mental health, learning disabilities, autism, employment and sexual health.

PinkNews has contacted Labour, the Conservative Party and Turning Point UK for comment. 

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