National Trust accused of blacklisting couple who refuse to wear LGBT badges

A couple who resigned from a National Trust property because they refused to wear gay pride badges say they have been blacklisted from volunteering.

Bob and Linda Gates resigned from Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, having worked there for 14 years.

When they applied to volunteer at Blickling Hall, a nearby National Trust property, they received no reply for over two weeks before they were eventually told there were no vacancies.


However, before the couple were rejected, Mr Gates created a fake applicant with no experience who was told there were several vacancies.

The applicant, named ‘Joan Simpson’, was told within 48 hours that Blickling Hall needed more members of the visitor welcome team and room guides.

The couple were then told that the property’s managers were “unable at the moment to offer you an opportunity”.

Mr Gates said: “If that’s not blacklisting, I don’t know what is. They have brushed us aside”.

Politically correct

He wrote to Blickling Hall asking why he and his wife had been rejected, saying: “We suspect that conversations have taken place between Blickling and Felbrigg Hall and because of our resignation we have been blacklisted.”

He expressed his disappointment at the National Trust’s push for a politically correct agenda, saying: “We are just so annoyed at the way the National Trust have treated everybody.

“Its remit was to look after old buildings and that’s what it should stick to. I definitely think they have lost their way.”


Last month more than 70 volunteers at Felbrigg Hall expressed their objections to LGBT rainbow badges and lanyards for the National Trust’s “Prejudice and Pride” season developed in conjunction with Stonewall.

The volunteers were told if they refused to wear the badge they would not be permitted to work in a public-facing role – a move The Daily Telegraph described as “pernicious”.

The situation escalated when Dame Helen Ghosh, the National Trust’s Director-General, suggested those unhappy with the programme were free to quit.

Hours later, the National Trust made a dramatic U-turn by stating the badges and lanyards were optional.

In 2014 grandfather Bryan Barkley, who spent almost 20 years volunteering for the Red Cross, was dropped by the organisation for opposing same-sex marriage.

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