QotD: A hotel chain has apologised after linking a gender campaign group to “bigotry”

A hotel chain has apologised after linking a gender campaign group to “bigotry”.

The Mercure Cardiff Holland House had said that a tweet about a women’s group debate was “unauthorised” and did not reflect the hotel’s position.

On Thursday the hotel took to social media to announce it would no longer host a debate organised by campaign group A Woman’s Place.

The event, advertised online for Thursday evening, had been arranged to discuss proposed changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to make the process of legally changing gender more simple.

Posting on Twitter the hotel said it did not tolerate “any form of racist, sexist or bigoted behaviour”.

But the Tweet was later deleted.

At the time a speaker booked to attend the event accused the hotel of defamation.

Union organiser Ruth Serwotka wrote: “I am an advertised speaker at the meeting tonight. That is a seriously defamatory tweet and I request you remove it immediately.”

The announcement followed after calls on social media from trans women support groups to cancel the event.

A demonstration was also held on Thursday night in response to the debate.

Contacting the Mercure Cardiff Hotel one Twitter used said: “Please can you explain why you are hosting the Woman’s Place meeting this evening when it is a transphobic hate group, and nothing at all to do with womens’ rights. It goes against your LGBTQ policy.”

Despite the change in venue the women’s group reported more than 140 attendees at last night’s event.

Speaking on Thursday speaker and former AM for Mid and West Wales Helen Mary Jones said: “I think that the hotel’s decision is very unfortunate as A Woman’s Place is not an organisation that supports bigots or discrimination.

“I have fought against prejudice and discrimination all my life.

“The idea that I or any other speakers would have anything to do with a hate group is ridiculous.”

On Friday a spokesperson for the Mercure hotel said the decision to cancel the event was taken in the interests of guest and staff safety due to “potential” protests.

He said: “The decision to cancel an event on Thursday, April 12, at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House was taken in the best interests of hotel guests and staff after concerns were raised about their safety, which is our priority, due to potential disruption and protests.

“The decision in no way implied any judgement on the views of those organising the event, or those protesting against it. While we are a leader in encouraging diversity and inclusion in all its forms, it is not our policy to pass comment on the view of others.

“Regrettably an unauthorised tweet was posted on behalf of the hotel which did not accurately reflect the position of the hotel, the Mercure brand or AccorHotels, and which has since been removed. We have taken action to ensure this can’t be repeated and are reviewing our processes. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by this miscommunication.”


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