Right-wing press stirs up anti-LGBTQ+ anger over border force agents and Pride badges

UK border force officer

The right-wing press has reported in shock that Border Force staff are permitted to wear Pride badges while on shift.

Both The Telegraph and GB News ran articles this week about internal documents which discuss permitting Border Force guards to wear LGBTQ+ symbols while at work.

The articles criticised the policy decision, which came just weeks after home secretary Suella Braverman ordered a crackdown on police officers wearing LGBTQ+ symbols.

The news outlets only reported on one Border Force staff member wearing a Pride badge, and the only criticism The Telegraph could present came from Helen Joyce, an outspoken anti-trans campaigner.

Joyce has previously been photographed standing on a torn Progress Pride flag.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Joyce, a director of the gender-critical group, Sex Matters, said: “Some people still use the rainbow flag to signal acceptance of gay people, but for others it’s a symbol of extreme trans activism.”

You may like to watch

The articles also cited an online discussion between a transgender Border Force staff member and Home Office officials, in which the former said wearing a Pride pin is “both welcoming and a little warning that you may have your prejudices, but we’re not going to tolerate them.”

“I am the first person many people see when they arrive in the UK, whether they are returning residents or visiting foreigners,” they added.

The internal documents reportedly stemmed from discussions which took place during an inclusion week in Westminster.

An official who made several portions of the inclusivity training compulsory said it is important to “be yourself” in his unit.

Suella Braverman LGBTQ+ police ‘dancing’ at Pride

In September, Braverman commissioned a review into “activism and impartiality” within the police force after she claimed officers were “fraternising” with LGBTQ+ activists.

In an open letter to the chief constables of England and Wales, Braverman shamed officers for engaging in “political matters,” which included waving the Progress Pride flag.

The Progress Pride flag includes the colours of black and brown to demonstrate inclusion of LGBTQ+ people from minority ethnic communities, and the blue, pink and white stripes of the trans Pride flag.

Other acts Braverman labelled as political included painting police cars in pro-LGBTQ+ colours, siding with what she described as the “highly political” Black Lives Matter movement and encouraging the “uptake” of inclusivity training.

Suella Braverman during the Tory Party Conference.
Suella Braverman said public confidence in the police was eroded by seeing them “dancing with drag queens”. (Getty)

“In all of these examples, public confidence was damaged by the sight of a supposedly apolitical police force siding with one group over another in a currently contentious area of public debate,” the controversial home secretary said.

Braverman later made further anti-LGBTQ+ remarks, saying of police officers: “They are there to keep people safe. We do not pay them to wave flags at parades, to dance with drag queens or to campaign.

“That’s why I finally ended all association with Stonewall at the Home Office and why I expect all [police and crime commissioners] and chief constables to focus on cutting crime and rebuilding confidence, not [play] politics.”