Conservative party members have been accused of using homophobic insults at a party celebrating LGBT diversity at the party conference in Birmingham.
Several people had to be removed for allegedly using vitriolic language at an event at Reflex nightclub, it is claimed.
Two sources told ITV News that one person had to be escorted from the venue for calling a gay man a “f**”, while another man was ejected for calling two women a “dirty l*****”.
One of the victims told the broadcaster: “We kicked someone out who was blind drunk and called me a dirty l***** and that I needed to watch my back … I don’t feel like I morally fit in anymore.”
The event on Tuesday night was open to anyone with a security pass, including party members and lobbyists. Hundreds of people are believed to have attended. The chair of LGBT Conservatives, Elena Bunbury, said: “It’s a real shame this happened and shows why groups like ours are so important.
“The venue staff were brilliant at removing people and had zero tolerance for it. We will continue to stand firm against hate crime.”
Bunbury wrote on Twitter: “The abuse my team at @LGBTCons have had tonight is disgusting. We’ve run a free event and it’s spoilt by the few that feel the need to be abusive, not on at all.
“Thank you to those who were respectful, it means a lot.”
Jessica Zbinden-Webster, head of women for LGBT Conservatives, also tweeted: “A lot of people showed themselves up at the @LGBTCons party last night. We’re making a list and checking it twice.”
Anneliese Dodds, shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, said: “These are deeply troubling reports. The Conservative party must take these allegations seriously and investigate them urgently. Anyone found to have engaged in homophobic abuse must face disciplinary action.
“Hate crime against LGBT+ people has doubled over the last five years under the Conservatives. Labour would act by making all LGBT+-related hate crimes aggravated offences.”
A Conservative spokesperson said: “We have had discussions with LGBT+ Conservatives regarding this incident, which took place outside of the conference secure zone, and offered them our support.
“If those involved are identified as members of the party, we will launch swift investigations. Any form of discrimination or abuse is wrong and complaints can be made in confidence under our code of conduct.”