Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has withdrawn her lifelong support from the Red Cross after it dismissed a man who opposed gay marriage.
In an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Ms Widdecombe said, ‘I addressed a fundraising event in Exeter just a few months ago. I put up with it when it denied me, as shadow home secretary, entry to Sangatte and I swallowed my ire when it banned nativity displays from its shops, but enough is enough’.
She claimed the ‘supposedly neutral organisation’ had gone too far to dismiss a colleague of 20 years’ standing, just because the man, called Bryan Barkely, stood outside Wakefield Cathedral with a banner saying ‘No redefinition of marriage’. The protest was done in his own name and in his own time.
Ms Widdecombe added: ‘I challenge Mr Cameron to condemn the Red Cross for this decision and, if he does not, then we must assume that this was the sort of country he wanted all along’.
Ms Widdecombe asked the Prime Minister to consider the rights of Britons to state a position and to allow people freedom of conscience. ‘What price those promises now, Mr Cameron?’ she asked, demanding also of the Red Cross how it will explain its actions to its Red Crescent arm in Muslim countries.