A leading child abuse charity has apologised for the way it cut ties with a prominent trans rights activist after a staff revolt.
The NSPCC said it had “deep regret” over how it ended its association with Munroe Bergdorf, who last week said she was “proud” to become an ambassador for the charity’s Childline telephone advice service.
The charity’s boss Peter Wanless said its board felt an ongoing relationship with Bergdorf was “inappropriate” due to “her statements on the public record” regarding “safeguarding and equality”.
He admitted in response to staff complaints that the situation had been poorly handled and that he had apologised to Bergdorf.
Bergdorf, 31, had said the NSPCC’s decision was “bowing down to pressure from a transphobic lobby”.
She told the BBC on Tuesday that she remained in the dark about the decision, despite the charity making statements to the press confirming its action over the weekend.
In his response to staff on Wednesday, Wanless wrote: “I have received very significant feedback from our staff and volunteers since the decision was made on Friday to end the charity’s association with Munroe Bergdorf.
“The Board of Trustees were clear that if at all possible we should speak to Munroe Bergdorf before an announcement was made.
“Unfortunately, we tried but failed to make direct contact with her. The NSPCC announcement should have been delayed.”
Explaining its decision to cut ties with Bergdorf, Wanless wrote: “The driving force of the decision the Board took was concern around the lack of process that our organisation used when deciding to work with Munroe.
“This is not Munroe’s doing but is much more a failure of our systems and processes than anything Munroe has done while engaged with us, and something we have to learn from.”
He added that the NSPCC continues to support trans rights and that the organisation considers itself an ally to the trans community.
Bergdorf was previously sacked as the first trans woman ambassador of beauty brand L’Oreal over allegedly racist Facebook posts, but the activist said later her comments had been taken out of context.
Useful websites and helplines:
- The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
- Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
- LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
- Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
- Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK