Lloyds Bank was under fire last night after offering free counselling to staff ‘appalled’ by talk from the Conservative Party conference.
The unusually party political move saw the bank offer its 30,000 staff professional help via BUPA if they found themselves concerned by trans rhetoric at the government’s Manchester gathering.
The conference saw trade minister Kemi Badenoch state that she would ‘not apologise for fighting for a society that knows what a woman is,’ while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared to suggest that trans activists were ‘bullying’ people into agreeing with their views.
He told the conference in his keynote speech: ‘Patients should know when hospitals are talking about men or women, and we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be.
‘They can’t. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman; that’s just common sense.’
Following the event Sarah Underhill, human resources director at Lloyds – who declares her pronouns are ‘She/Her’ – wrote in an email to employees last Friday: ‘Like many of you, I was appalled to hear the rhetoric coming from the Conservative Party Conference this week, targeting the trans and non-binary community.
‘Hearing language that fuels hate and division is shocking. To all our trans and non-binary colleagues, please know that at Lloyds Banking Group you are not alone. You are valued. You are welcome here.
‘I am aware of the brilliant work undertaken in the last few days by our Trans Working Group and their allies, to mobilise support, offering safe spaces for colleagues affected to talk, to vent and to find allyship and assurance.
‘We have heard powerful examples from colleagues around their anger and fears. This is a moment that matters and I would ask that, as a community, we come together to offer allyship and support to anyone affected.
‘Support is also available via our LGBTQ Mental Health Advocates and through the private medical healthcare available via BUPA. You can also contact Mind Out, our LGBTQ mental health partners.’
Ms Underhill’s remarks, reported by Guido Fawkes, seemingly referred to a series of statements by the Conservative leadership at last week’s conference in Manchester.
Alongside Ms Badenoch and Mr Sunak, Home Secretary Suella Braverman also waded in to the debate by criticising‘gender ideology’.