National Trust is criticised after asking volunteers to wear rainbow colours for Pride month amid growing backlash over its ‘woke’ policies
- National Trust met with criticism by volunteers at Georgian Italianate palace
- Staff at the Suffolk estate asked to wear rainbow colours to mark Pride month
- Charity said guidance sent to properties but requests to participate optional
The National Trust has been met with criticism after volunteers at a countryside estate were asked to wear rainbow colours and symbols to mark Pride Month.
In a letter, guides at the Georgian Italianate palace in Suffolk, were asked to ‘bring the Pride celebrations to Ickworth’ by ‘putting on that rainbow scarf’ and ‘wearing the rainbow lanyard’.
However a number of volunteers, many of whom are elderly, have been left uncomfortable at the request, The Telegraph reports.
It comes just weeks after National Trust critics pledged to oust another three senior figures who were said to be pushing the organisation’s ‘highly woke agenda’, after its chairman quit over the charity’s focus on slavery and colonialism.
The National Trust has been criticised after volunteers at the Georgian Italianate palace in Suffolk (pictured) were asked to wear rainbow colours for Pride month
In a letter seen by The Telegraph, staff said volunteers at the 18th century would be ‘invited’ to get involved in the celebrations and ‘rainbow up their make-up – nails … eye shadow, lipstick.’
They wrote: ‘Dress up, put on that rainbow scarf, wear your rain- bow lanyard, add all the colour of the rainbow to flowers in your hair, wear that rainbow tie or bow tie.’
The message added that by showing their support and getting involved at the establishment it would ensure ‘not one of our colleagues is singled out for wishing to celebrate’.
The National Trust said that while the guidance had been sent to its properties, requests to participate were optional.
In 2017, the National Trust was accused by volunteers of trampling on their rights after staff at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk were told to wear gay pride badges to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
At least 75 volunteers at the estate were said to have revolted over the order, which required them either to wear the rainbow ID badges or be relegated to backroom jobs.
However human rights activist Peter Tatchell backed the trust, saying it would be wrong not to reveal the sexuality of historical figures.
In 2017, the National Trust was accused by volunteers at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk of trampling on their rights after staff were told to wear gay pride badges
Some volunteers were said to have revolted over the order which required them either to wear the rainbow ID badges
He said: ‘We are marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.
‘It seems entirely appropriate that the National Trust should join in the celebration. If they ignored it people would understandably ask why.’
Meanwhile the trust said: ‘We are encouraging volunteers to wear lanyards for public-facing roles but we are discussing concerns with those who do not feel comfortable doing so.’
Last month, National Trust critics pledged to oust another three senior figures who were said to be pushing the organisation’s ‘highly woke agenda’, after its chairman quit over the charity’s focus on slavery and colonialism.
Tim Parker left just 24 hours after members launched a bid to depose him as the trust faces mounting fury for the ‘woke’ direction it is taking.
Now, campaign group Restore Trust – who hope to bring back the heritage body’s apolitical ethos have more management figures in their sights, including director-general Hilary McGrady.
The group said the National Trust – which it has ‘penetrated at every level’ – has three senior bosses with ‘highly woke agendas’ that it wants to remove.
Restore Trust are furious at ‘woke’ decisions made by the charity, which included it linking properties to colonialism and making staff wear rainbow ‘gay pride’ badges.
Restore Trust was set to table a motion of no confidence in Mr Parker at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
A spokesman for the group told The Times: ‘We have excellent contacts within the trust – we’ve penetrated it at every level – and we know that there’s a small group of about three senior management figures who have a highly woke agenda so we’re out to oust them as well.’