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Christian 'driven from public service' after saying that children ideally need mother and father

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Issued by the Christian Legal Centre

 

News Release
Christian Legal Centre
20 November 2016
 
Christian 'driven from public service' after saying that children ideally need mother and father

A Christian who was dismissed as a Magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice after expressing his view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father, has begun legal action after being blocked from returning to his role as an NHS Trust director.

Richard Page, who has nearly 20 years experience as a finance director in the NHS, was suspended from his role as a non-executive director of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust in March.

The Trust said that in its view, Mr Page's expression of his beliefs about family life would "have a negative impact on the Trust, its staff and most importantly its patients."

In August, Mr Page was told that a panel convened to consider his suitability to return to his role as a non-executive director was unanimous in its view that "it was not in the interests of the health service for you to serve as a non-executive director in the NHS."

The panel believed that Mr Page's actions in expressing his beliefs about family life and in responding to his dismissal as a Magistrate, were "likely to have had a negative impact on the confidence of staff, patients and the public in you as a local NHS leader."

Mr Page has been told that the panel's view will be taken into account if he applies for a similar role in the NHS in the future, and was told: "The panel also agreed that the adverse impact on your credibility would continue into the future."

The panel had received a single complaint about Mr Page's views but was made aware of over 6,500 emails supporting him and protesting at his suspension. 

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Mr Page has begun legal action against the NHS Trust Development Authority and the Secretary of State for Health for discrimination against him as a Christian and for his dismissal for expressing the lawful view that a child needs a mother and a father.

Mr Page is also continuing his legal action against the Secretary of State for Justice, claiming that his dismissal as a Magistrate was unlawful and discriminated against him on account of his Christian beliefs.
 

'Driven from public service'

Christian Legal Centre chief executive Andrea Williams said:

"Richard is being driven from public service simply for expressing the widely-held, lawful belief that children ideally need a mother and a father. First, the Magistracy, now the Health Service. Where will this end?

"Who wins from this situation? Society is being deprived of a long-standing, sacrificial public servant, simply because he has expressed what many people believe about family life.

"This is another in a growing list of cases where Christians are being squeezed out of different areas of public life simply for expressing their beliefs.

"This is the harsh reality of how the current 'equality and diversity' framework is being applied and imposed. It is not bringing people together but driving them apart. The whole framework needs to be overhauled."
 

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