‘Tosh’: Ann Widdecombe blasts Red Cross over Bryan Barkley claim

Jan 14, 2015

Former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe has rubbished a claim that her previous column about sacked volunteer Bryan Barkley was inaccurate.

In her Daily Express column today (scroll to view) she again addressed the case of Mr Barkley, a man who expressed his belief in marriage between one man and one woman and paid a heavy price.

The former Tory MP has previously said that she will stop fundraising for the charity, and today she countered a claim about “inaccuracies” in a previous article which the charity wanted her to “correct”.

“Tosh. A spokeswoman did indeed ring up to state that the dismissal had nothing to do with Mr Barkley’s views but offered not an ounce of evidence on the grounds of ‘employee confidentiality’”, she said.

The contested issue was whether the Red Cross removed Mr Barkley as a volunteer because of his views on marriage.

It claims that was not the reason, but at a disciplinary meeting last year, it said the purpose of the discussion “was to consider the compatibility of your publicly held position on the issue of same-sex marriage”.

Commenting on the Red Cross phone call, Miss Widdecombe said: “I assume that, like all good PR departments, they recorded the conversation so let them produce a legally verified verbatim transcript to show any proof of ‘inaccuracies’ or any request to ‘correct’ them. No? I thought not.”

Let’s keep the pressure on the Red Cross, and tell them it is wrong to dismiss someone because of their views on marriage.

Please consider posting on its Facebook page and tweeting @BritishRedCross. This is a great way of showing them just how widespread these concerns are.