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In the Press

  • Alastair Campbell, former head of communications at No.10 (so by no means naive on the use of social media), tweeted this in the wake of the London Bridge attack, straight after a speech delivered by Theresa May in which she said Britain is too tolerant of Islamist ideology. His message was clear: Brexit and Jihad are derived from the same fount of extremism; supporters of both are extremists, if not terrorists; a mass political movement for democracy and sovereignty is no different from murderous suicide bombers and machete-wielding fanatics. If a newspaper thinks differently from Alastair Campbell on the subject of Brexit, it is jihadist.

    He deleted this two hours later, saying: "Previous tweet deleted. Agreed it was over the top. But was genuinely angry at Mrs May's speech which was highly political and ill judged."

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  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that Londoners are "free to love whoever you want to love", as some of the most iconic London Underground stations get a rainbow makeover for Pride.

    To mark the Pride in London festival today, which launches this week ahead of the Pride parade on July 8, Transport for London is giving parts of the city's transport network a new rainbow design.

    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched the campaign, posing with a #loveislove roundel.

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  • Religious private schools that have repeatedly failed their legal equality duties have nevertheless been allowed to remain open – often with leaders still in key positions, Schools Week can reveal.

    The latest batch of inspection reports from Ofsted list two such schools ignored rules set out in the 2010 Equality Act and failed to mention either sexual orientation or gender reassignment to their pupils.

    One of these, Vishnitz Girls School, an Orthodox Jewish school in Hackney, north London, was warned both in October and November last year that it had failed to "pay enough regard to developing respect and tolerance" for those protected under the Act, especially LGBT people. A follow-up report from Ofsted in May found that nothing had changed.

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  • Christian pharmacists will remain free to do their jobs in line with their consciences after regulators published new guidance recognising the "positive" role of religion.

    Earlier draft guidance by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) could have forced Christians to provide access to abortifacient or hormone-blocking drugs.

    The guidance now states: "Pharmacy professionals have the right to practise in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs". The changes were made after The Christian Institute threatened the GPhC with legal action and hundreds of Christian professionals raised objections.

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  • On 8th July, General Synod of the Church of England will debate a motion proposing to endorse a statement to the effect that: "the practice of conversion therapy has no place in the modern world, is unethical, harmful and not supported by evidence". There is no explanation of what 'conversion therapy' is, but it is taken to refer to any method which seeks to reduce or eliminate same sex attraction.

    Here are some articles written on the subject over the past two years.

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  • Increasingly we are seeing Christians ridiculed and vilified in the public arena before the relentless drive of Secular and LGBTQ activism. It is time for the intolerance, bigotry and intimidation of so-called liberals to be exposed.

    Tim Farron hounded out of office because of his faith. The BBC openly ridiculing supporters of traditional marriage in its election coverage. Expressions of outrage from both the Labour and Tory parties when anyone dare express the view there are health risks attached to the practice of homosexuality. The DUP pilloried for its Christian position and robust defence of traditional morality … Unremitting pressure on the Church to reinterpret core values so that its teachings align with current morality. Where will it all end?

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  • Millions of people around the world have rolled out their yoga mats to celebrate a tradition that was once the preserve of Hindu holy men but is now a worldwide phenomenon.

    Practitioners in more than 100 countries have planned events this week to celebrate the third International Yoga Day, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi convinced the UN to declare in 2015.

    Since coming to power in 2014, the Hindu nationalist leader has led efforts to promote yoga, which he practises daily, as an important part of India's history and culture.

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  • Gay Christian activist calls for an end to 'spiritual abuse' and 'conversion therapy'

    Jayne Ozanne, a member of General Synod, says in a paper published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists that there is a need for government regulation to stamp out 'group led spiritual abuse'.

    'This is often evident in, but not solely linked to, charismatic churches – and can be anything from a small prayer group to a ministry team to large network churches,' she told Christian Today.

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  • This Father's Day, Tony Perry was the proud recipient of two lovingly homemade cards.

    Inside one, depicting hands in the shape of a heart, his dinosaur-obsessed four-year-old son had painstakingly scrawled: 'I love my dad because he takes me to the museum.'

    Meanwhile, his two-year-old daughter produced a card bearing her handprints, with the message: 'You are the best dad hands down.'

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  • Following the Queen's speech the Evangelical Alliance's head of public policy, Simon McCrossan commented on the government's proposal to establish a commission on extremism.

    "The recent attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, and most recently in Finsbury Park have focused all of our attention on how to stop these terrorist actions. The work of the police and security services has been rightly applauded and focus has inevitably turned to what more can be done.

    "Proposals from the government to introduce an extremism commission raise more questions than they answer. The government has tried and failed in recent years to define extremism in a way that tackles terrorism and its causes without restricting freedom of ideas which may be unpopular or contentious. Violent extremism is a scar on our communities and a threat to our security, but it is not solved by shutting down peaceful freedom of expression."

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