NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen re-listed after probe into homophobic comments

Marcliffe

Tourism agency VisitScotland has restored the five-star status of an Aberdeen hotel following a probe into the owner's homophobic comments.

Stewart Spence used a derogatory term about homosexuals at The Marcliffe Hotel during a Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland event in October.

Mr Spence later said he wanted to "sincerely apologise".

VisitScotland said the Marcliffe had responded with assurances about its equality policy.

'Positive working relationship'

Chris McCoy, equality diversity manager at VisitScotland said: "Following VisitScotland's request to confirm in writing that the Marcliffe Hotel does not operate any kind of discriminatory policies that would contravene the Equality Act 2010, the business has responded within the set time period to give us those assurances and a clear commitment to their equality policy.

"The policy covers all the key areas, including LGBTI customers and employees, and clearly sets out both the responsibility of the hotel management and the staff.

"On that basis, we are pleased to be able to remove the suspension and re-list the hotel on VisitScotland.com, including the 5 star rating.

"We look forward to continuing the positive working relationship that The Marcliffe and VisitScotland have enjoyed for many years."

'Jaws dropped'

HIT Scotland said homophobic views and comments were made about the industry during the event and that it was "shocking".

A source who was at the dinner said "jaws dropped".

Mr Spence later said in a statement: "I made some very ill-advised comments at the dinner and I am absolutely mortified.

"I would like to sincerely apologise for the offence caused. I don't know what I was thinking."

The hotel - a popular venue for wedding receptions and functions - has been at its North Deeside Road location since 1993.

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