A religious group is calling for a boycott of Tesco this Christmas in protest at a comment about ‘evil Christians’ made by an employee on the Flickr website three years ago.
The Christian Institute has provided it followers with the email address of the supermarket chief executive Philip Clarke and a link to its Facebook home page saying: ‘If you won’t be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, tell them.’
Head of research and development for the Tesco website, Nick Lansley, wrote on Flickr: ‘I’m campaigning against evil Christians (that’s not all Christians, just bad ones) who think that gay people should not lead happy lives and get married to their same-sex partners.’
Following complaints the remark was removed.
The Christian Institute is only now protesting about Mr Lansley’s comment at the same time as it is objecting to a drink ‘degradingly called p***y natural energy’ being sold as a limited edition by the chain.
Director Colin Hart said: ‘I won’t be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, and I am repeatedly hearing from other Christians who have already come to the same conclusion.
‘Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.’
Mr Hart also criticised Tesco for reducing the amount of money it gives to Cancer Research UK – although 5 pence from the sale of each can of the drink the Institute objects to goes to the charity – and giving £30,000 to Pride London to fund a family area.
He also drew attention to the case of Adrian Smith, a 54-year-old father of two, who was demoted in his job working for a housing trust for making allegedly homophobic comments on Facebook about gay marriage. But gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has offered to speak on Mr Smith’s behalf, as he doesn’t think the comments were homophobic.
Mr Lansley was unavailable for comment. A Tesco spokesman declined to comment as Mr Lansley’s comments had been made on his own personal webpage.