Beloved tea cake makers Tunnock’s this afternoon found themselves the unlikely cause of Britain’s latest culture war – after they donated treats to a group accused of transphobia.
The Scottish-based sweet snack manufacturers were dragged into the row after LGB Alliance thanked them for free wafers and cakes for their first annual conference.
It was seen by trans rights campaigners who vowed to boycott the company over the hand-outs.
Critics accuse the LGB Alliance of campaigning against the rights of trans people.
But the group says it is standing up for the rights of women who believe it is not possible to change biological sex.
Its online presence says: ‘We promote the rights of lesbians, bisexuals & gay men, as recognised by biological sex. #SexNotGender’.
Tunnock’s declined to comment when approached by MailOnline this afternoon.
The fuse was lit on the row when LGB Alliance sent a thank you message to the snack company.
It said: ‘Many thanks to Tunnock Official who kindly donated generous quantities of their fabulous caramel wafers and the legendary Tunnock’s Tea Cake.
‘Both were gulped down by a hungry LGB crowd and lovely straight and trans allies. (Gannets every one of them).’
The tea cakes were a hit at the conference and organisers sent their thanks to Tunnock’s
The conference is the first of its kind and has been taking place in London this week
LGB Alliance said the products had been gladly eaten by everyone at the London venue
There were calls to boycott the cakes after it was revealed they had been gifted to the event
Scottish Lib Dem councillor Ben Lawrie said the company should lose the T in its name
But the cake firm’s products at the conference, which is being held at the QEII centre in Westminster prompted outrage from some quarters.
Teacher Vic Symonds said: ‘This Gay Glaswegian can’t buy from in good conscience now. The LGB Alliance actively harms my whole community. They attack and undermine trans people and wrecked my favourite biscuit. Scunnered.’
Cathuk added on Twitter: ‘Could you please explain why your company dontated product to an anti-trans hate group conference? Do Tunnocks support removing the rights of the trans community & agree that gay teachers are a danger to kids?’
Sarah Faye wrote: Breaking: Tunnocks supports an anti-transgender hate campaign as disclosed by the LGBiphobic Alliance. Enjoy your free advertising Tunnocks, by a group that only exists to campaign against trans people for merely existing.’
But India Willoughby, who is known for being Britain’s first transgender national television newsreader, called for calm over a proposed boycott.
She said: ‘Have it on good authority that the lovely Tunnock’s had no idea who the LGB Alliance even were when they supplied freebies.
‘Thought they were supporting LGBT. Cut them some slack. Bound to happen when you get baddies masquerading as the good guys.’
This latest controversy over the conference comes just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson became embroiled in a similar row.
He wrote to the LGB Alliance to congratulate it on its ‘incredible hard work’ and send his ‘best wishes’.
India Willoughby called for calm after some called for a boycott of Tunnock’s products
The support from the PM came after the LGB Alliance, which says it aims to advance the interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, invited him to attend its first national conference (pictured) yesterday
Critics accuse the LGB Alliance of campaigning against the rights of trans people. Above: Protesters outside the LGB Alliance’s annual conference in London on Thursday
Last night, the group said it had also been invited to a meeting in Downing Street, where members had been told they had ‘a lot of support really high up’.
Around 50 trans rights activists gathered outside the venue in central London yesterday shouting: ‘Trans rights are human rights’, as three ‘gender critical’ female MPs addressed attendees.
Gender critical is used to describe those who believe people cannot change biological sex.
Inside, the group hailed the letter from No10, projecting it on a big screen to cheers from supporters.
The letter, written by Mandy Godridge, from the No10 communications unit, said: ‘The Prime Minister is delighted to learn of this ground-breaking event.
‘Unfortunately, it will not be possible for [him] to attend, due to pressures on his diary.
‘However, on his behalf, I would like to thank the LGB Alliance for their incredible hard work and send my best wishes for a successful conference.’
Asked about the letter, the PM’s spokesman said: ‘The Government is clear that biology matters and there are different health needs between the sexes.
‘We are clear that all transgender people should be treated with dignity and respect.’