Coutts could end sponsorship over Stonewall bigot award row

A second bank has threatened to pull its funding as the row over Stonewall’s bigot award continues to escalate.

Royal bankers Coutts, have joined Barclays in threatening to discontinue supporting the annual gay rights awards ceremony unless the “Bigot” category is dropped.

Coutts have withdrawn their delegation from the event which is taking place on Thursday.

Involved

A spokesman for the bank said: “Coutts are sponsors only of Stonewall’s Writer of the Year Award and have in no way been involved in the judging or support of the Bigot of the Year category.”

He continued: “We have advised Stonewall that we will be withdrawing our support of the awards unless they remove this category.”

Earlier Mark McLane, one of Barclay’s directors, said of the controversial category: “To label any individual so subjectively and pejoratively runs contrary to our view on fair treatment”.

Support

Accountancy firm PWC, who are also financially supporting the event, confirmed they had no part in sponsoring the “Bigot of the Year” category.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s chief executive, remains adamant that the “Bigot” award will stay.

He said: “All the nominees have gone well beyond what anyone normal would call a decent level of public discourse.”

Extreme

He added, “highlighting extreme examples of bigotry when we know how harmful this unpleasantness is to the self-esteem of young people is right.”

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic, has been nominated for the award for his stance against homosexual marriage.

Other nominees include NI peer Lord Maginnis, former leader of the Christian People’s Alliance Alan Craig, and Philip Tartaglia, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow.

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