Barclays may end funding of gay event over ‘bigot’ award

Barclays bank has threatened to withdraw sponsorship of a gay rights awards ceremony if it continues with a controversial “Bigot of the Year” category in the future.

The bank supports the Stonewall Awards, which takes place in London on Thursday.

But Mark McLane, one of Barclays’ directors, said they do not back the “Bigot” award.

Principle

He said: “Let me be absolutely clear that Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future.”

Barclays are sponsoring the Sports Award category this year.

Another financial backer, Coutts, also pointed out they are supporting individual awards and not the whole event.

Winners

Previous winners of Stonewall’s “Bigot of the Year” award include journalist Melanie Phillips and Tory MP Chris Grayling.

John Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, has criticised the nomination of Cardinal O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.

Mr Deighan called on the corporate groups to end their support for the ceremony because of this “spiteful” category.

Hateful

He said Cardinal O’Brien “gets really vile and hateful letters and emails and it is this kind of behaviour Stonewall and the sponsors seem to give the green light to”.

The ceremony is also sponsored by Google and accountancy firm PWC.

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