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Tory candidate kicked out after linking trans and Black people to Nazis

Alex Bramham, standing for election in Manchester, tweeted an image suggesting the UK being ‘invaded’ by trans, intersex, Black and brown people

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Nandini Archer
25 April 2022, 4.26pm

Progress and trans flags in front of the Palace of Westminster, London

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Zefrog / Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved

A Conservative candidate in next month’s local elections has been suspended from the party after tweeting an image that apparently equated trans, intersex and people of colour with Nazis.

Alexander Bramham, who was standing as a Tory in Manchester, tweeted a doctored version of the Dad’s Army titles showing the Nazis’ progression through Europe, with the Nazi flags replaced with the flags for trans and intersex people and people of colour.

Conservative Party HQ today told openDemocracy that Bramham had been suspended, but could not give any further information.

Mallory Moore, a researcher at Trans Safety Network, told openDemocracy: “I find Bramham's attempts to compare trans people to the Nazis appalling. There's a long history of ‘gender critical’ groups comparing LGBT people to the Nazis despite rampant scapegoating of minorities being one of the pillars the Nazis rode to power on.”

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She added: “The Nazi book burnings started in 1933 with the execution of Dora Richter – a trans woman and receptionist at the Institute for Sexual Research in Berlin. Rhetoric discussing trans people as a ‘degenerate’ threat and a danger to the nation's children is on the rise, with accusations that our civil rights movement is masterminded by wealthy Jews. The historical echoes are absolutely shocking.”

Bramham’s tweet appears to be a comment on a version of the rainbow pride flag called the ‘Progress flag’ which has a chevron containing stripes representing Black, brown, trans and intersex people. The redesigned flag became popular in the wake of the US police killing of George Floyd.

But Bramham told openDemocracy: "The genius of the rainbow flag is its inclusion of the full spectrum – a powerful metaphor that celebrates real equality. No group should be excluded or confined to a chevron outside the rainbow. Age, religion and disability are rightly protected by the UK Equality Act but omitted from the Progress flag. We should cherish the original design that includes everyone."

He did not explain how this justified comparing marginalised groups to Nazis.

Bramham also claimed in subsequent tweets: “Combining ideologies to appear more inclusive is oppressive.”

Michelle Snow, founder of news service What The Trans, told openDemocracy: “This image is clearly monstrously offensive to just about every LGBTQI+ person and, I think, to just about anyone the Nazis targeted.”

She added: “This is a guy running for positions in the LGBT Conservatives who believes it is a good idea to portray a good chunk of LGBT Tories as Nazis.

“That just shows how utterly politically inept this man is, on top of how morally repugnant he is.”

Screenshot of Bramham’s tweet

Screenshot of Bramham’s tweet

Twitter users also hit back in response to Bramham’s tweet. One said: “That flag was created as a means to include black and non white LGBT+ folks who felt white, gay and trans folks held the megaphone and stepped on their necks. It's about acknowledging the intersectionality.”

Another said: “I really don’t understand why you would use such an offensive diagram to ‘explain’ your view. It’s wholly unnecessary and wrong.” And a third commented: “You do see how suggesting that trans and BIPOC [Black, indigenous and people of colour] are the Nazis is bad right?”

Bramham has been accused of transphobia in the past. Last year, he was blocked by police from attending a Manchester Pride march while wearing an LGB Alliance branded T-shirt. The controversial group has been accused of predominantly lobbying against transgender rights.

Protesters chanted “trans lives matter” as he was led away by the police – Bramham said that he felt this behaviour was “threatening, abusive, grossly inappropriate and against the values and spirit of the Pride movement”.

Prior to his suspension, Bramham was also running to become chair of the Conservative Party’s LGBT+ group, against its current chair Elena Bunbury, in a bid to rebrand it as ‘LGB Conservatives', effectively removing trans, non-binary and other gender non-conforming people from the group’s remit.

PinkNews reports that his manifesto claims “changing sex is impossible”, and that: “Gay [sic] and lesbians have been abandoned by Stonewall, LGBT Foundation and others. The Conservative Party’s no-nonsense approach is a winner with voters.”

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