Muscular Dystrophy UK cuts ties with Christine Hamilton over KKK tweet

The charity dropped its ambassador of five years over a tweet comparing the burka to outfits worn by members of the white supremacist group

Christine Hamilton
Christine Hamilton

Muscular Dystrophy UK has dropped Christine Hamilton as an ambassador after she published a tweet in which she compared the burka to the outfits worn by the Ku Klux Klan.

On Friday, Hamilton, the wife of the leader of the UK Independence Party in Wales and former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, sparked outrage online with a tweet about burkas and niqabs, face veils worn by some Muslim women.

"If the burka is acceptable, presumably this is too?" she tweeted, with a picture of KKK members wearing white robes and hoods over their faces.

The following day, Muscular Dystrophy UK announced that Hamilton, who had served as an ambassador of the charity since 2013, would no longer represent the charity.

"All links between her and the charity have been severed," the charity tweeted 19 hours after Hamilton’s original tweet.

In a statement, the charity said: "Christine Hamilton’s recent tweet about the burka was made in a personal capacity and clearly does not reflect or in any way represent the views of Muscular Dystrophy UK.

"We believe in a diverse and inclusive society, respect for all and we oppose all forms of prejudice and discrimination."

The charity’s chief executive, Robert Meadowcroft, tweeted that the decision to remove Hamilton as an ambassador "fully reflects the values of the charity".

Hamilton later defended the tweet, denying that she was comparing Muslim women to KKK members.

"I was graphically illustrating how full facial cover can be sinister, which is how many people view the burka," she said in a tweet.

After the announcement from MDUK, she tweeted: "Clearly I have offended people. To avoid any embarrassment to the charities I named on my profile I have removed all reference to them."

The Guardian and The Independent have both reported that the male cancer awareness charity Balls to Cancer has also cut ties with her over the tweet, calling it inappropriate and saying it did not reflect the views of the charity. However, Third Sector was unable to confirm this with the charity.

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