National Trust home banishes volunteers who refuse to wear rainbow pride badge

The rainbow symbol has caused consternation at the National Trust

The rainbow symbol has caused consternation at the National Trust

National Trust volunteers have been relegated to back office roles after they refused to wear LGBT pride lanyards in protest over the Trust's "outing" of a former Lord of the manor.

The Telegraph reported that bosses of the National Trust at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk had asked volunteers to wear a lanyard or badge showing the rainbow flag to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender visitors.

Unpaid staff at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk have been told by senior staff that they need to be welcoming to LGBTQ visitors.

However, volunteers at the property took objection when Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer's sexuality was revealed almost 50 years after his death.

Meanwhile, the trust has been accused of "outing" Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, the late owner of the Jacobean hall, following a short film narrated last month by TV personality Stephen Fry.

The temporary addition to the uniform was part of the Prejudice and Pride campaign marking the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales.

'He was an intensely private man.

"The National Trust looks after grounds and buildings, they do not have the right to research their benefactors" private lives to suit the needs of a marketing campaign.

Holmes added: "People are getting ill over this, they're losing sleep because they're missing out on a big part of their daily lives and doing something they love so much". The film revealed Mr Wyndham Ketton-Cremer's sexuality, which was known only by close friends.

Annabel Smith, Head of Volunteering & Participation Development at the National Trust, said: 'All of our staff and volunteers sign up to our core ambition when they join us - we are an organisation that is for ever, for everyone.

'However whilst volunteering for the National Trust we do request and expect individuals to uphold the values of the organisation'.

'Relating specifically to the Prejudice and Pride programme, we do recognise that some volunteers may have conflicting, personal opinions.

"The truth is, when researching Robert's life, we find many accounts that openly acknowledge his homosexuality".

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