Tesco launches investigation after cashier 'tells customers gay people should die alone'

The alleged incident happened at a supermarket in Surrey Quays, London

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The Independent Online

Tesco has launched an investigation into claims a cashier in London told customers that gay people “shouldn’t have babies” and should “die alone”.

Helen Embleton and her girlfriend Natalie Rivans told the Evening Standard they were shopping at a Tesco Extra in Surrey Quays when the worker made the remarks after serving a lesbian couple in front of them who were expecting a baby.

They challenged the woman at the till on 3 Januarym but she allegedly said that homosexuality was "wrong", adding: “It's a free country so I can say what I like”.

“It is not something I have ever come across in London before. I am really disgusted,” Ms Rivans said. “This has really upset and stressed [my partner] out.”

Richard Lane, from gay rights organisation stonewall, said no one should expect to face homophobia when at the shops.

"People shouldn't worry about experiencing homophobic abuse when they’re buying their groceries," he told The Independent.

"It’s important that Tesco is absolutely clear with all of its staff that all customers – regardless of their sexual orientation – should be treated with courtesy and respect. That’s just good business sense in modern Britain."

A spokesperson for Tesco said the supermarket had offered a full apology for the “inappropriate comments” and launched an internal investigation into the incident.

“We work hard to make sure that everyone is welcome at Tesco and put great emphasis on celebrating diversity and ensuring that we are an inclusive place to work and shop,” he added.

“Any remarks or actions from our colleagues which are not in line with these beliefs are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

It came after a series of alleged homophobic incidents in London. In October, a gay couple said they were kicked off a bus by a driver who verbally abused them after seeing them kissing.

Two months later, a woman was asked to stop consoling her upset girlfriend because it was a “family restaurant” and on New Year’s Day a gay couple said they were told to get out of an Uber taxi by a driver who objected to them kissing.