A Conservative Christian councillor will launch legal action after having his life torn apart for sharing one tweet which gave the Christian and biblical position on LGBT pride events.
Within days of the tweet, Cllr King Lawal, 31, who has been a councillor at North Northamptonshire Unitary Council for two years, was cancelled by seven organisations, including being suspended by the Conservative party pending an investigation.
Cllr Lawal has been warned of a possible police investigation and has received a potentially illegal ultimatum by a local authority which said that he must resign from his own business or face a substantial contract being scrapped.
He was even banned from holding surgeries at the local library and removed as a trustee for an organisation that helps children get access to green spaces.
The repercussions faced by Cllr Lawal are unprecedented, demonstrating that Christians who hold public office can no longer express their beliefs without having their careers and lives dismantled.
Supported by Christian Legal Centre, Cllr Lawal has instructed lawyers to prepare legal action alleging multiple violations of his rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Naked men at LGBT Pride events
Leading up to his tweet on 29 June, Cllr Lawal had followed content by GB News presenter, Calvin Robinson, one of which revealed naked men illegally parading through streets in front of children during LGBT pride events.
Disturbed by the illegal activity he witnessed going unchecked by authorities, he believed he had to speak out, especially as the events were being witnessed by children.
As a Bible-believing Christian he believed what was happening was wrong and ‘sinful’ and in a rare post, said:
‘When did Pride become a thing to celebrate. Because of Pride Satan fell as an arch Angel. Pride is not a virtue but a Sin. Those who have Pride should Repent of their sins and return to Jesus Christ. He can save you. #PrideMonth #Pride23 #PrideParade.’
The post included an image with a verse from Isaiah 3 verse 9 which said: ‘Whatever God calls “Sin” is nothing to be Proud of.’
Cllr Lawal later provided further clarification in a more detailed statement:
“When I referred to Pride as a sin in my previous post, it may have been misinterpreted as hateful. Let me explain why it is not.
“When Christians refer to ‘sin’ or ‘sinners’ we are speaking of ourselves. We are not singling out specific people or groups of people as sinners. Sin according to the bible includes, lying, stealing, gossip and hatred, not just things like homosexuality, adultery and sex outside of the marriage. Jesus said that even to have unholy thoughts that we never act on is sinful. Therefore every single one of us is sinful by this standard, including myself.
“For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God..” (Romans 3:23)
“This is the whole point of Christianity and the point of Jesus’ death. He doesn’t want to see us suffer for our sin because he loves us and doesn’t want us to take the punishment.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 5:8.
“So when Christians say ‘repent’ and believe in Jesus or refer to something you associate with as ‘sin’, it’s not because they hate you. it is because they love you and want to see you saved from punishment the same way they have been saved.
“I therefore do not come against those celebrating Pride to attack who they are, my intention was to say that I would not celebrate this any more than I would celebrate a month of gossip or anything else the bible calls sin.”
On the same day as he posted the tweet he was contacted by the leader of North Northamptonshire Unitary Council who told him that he was suspended for 21 days pending an investigation.
Unusually, Cllr Lawal was told that the Membership governance team at Conservative Campaign HQ was advising the council to suspend him and wanted the investigation to be centralised rather than local. He was told that a standards inquiry would also follow.
Following this call, without discussion, he was then dismissed as a trustee of Groundwork Northampton, an initiative which helps disadvantaged children access green spaces. In the dismissal letter from the CEO, he was told:
‘Given your activity on twitter today and the views you have put across regarding the Pride movement and Homosexuality I’m afraid I need to ask you to leave your position as a Trustee for Groundwork Northamptonshire with immediate effect.’
The following day he was suspended as an Academy Council member for Weavers Academy, a school for 11–18 year olds. He was told: ‘I have been made aware of your recent tweet. The views you have espouse are not consistent with the values of our Academy Council nor Weavers academy. Having discussed this with the Headteacher, I have decided to suspend your membership of the Academy Council, pending further discussions with Creative Trust.’
He was then removed as a Governor of Northampton Healthcare Foundation Trust and then even banned from holding a joint Police and Council surgery in the local Rushden & Irthlingborough LibraryPlus.
Cllr Lawal received a number of calls from people who said they agreed with what he had tweeted but were too fearful to publicly back him.
Resign or lose contract
With events spiralling out of control, and warnings of a potential police probe for alleged ‘hate crimes’, Cllr Lawal was concerned that his business would be targeted next.
Sure enough, on Monday 3 July, a local authority who hold a substantial council contract with Cllr Lawal’s family business ordered an urgent meeting.
The family were given an ultimatum that unless Cllr Lawal was removed immediately as a director the contract would be withdrawn. At the same time, the company was also informed that it would face snap reviews and inspections by council monitoring teams within Northamptonshire.
Under extreme and potentially illegal pressure, Cllr Lawal was forced to resign from his own company which he had built and grown.
Only a week earlier, Cllr Lawal had sat with members of the council at an awards ceremony where the work of the company was praised, and discussions were had about how they could build upon the work they had already achieved together.
The vitriol he has faced has echoes of the legal cases of Pastor Keith Waters, Cllr Mary Douglas and Felix Ngole. However, the extent and pace of what has happened to Cllr Lawal is believed to be unprecedented, reflecting an escalation of viewpoint discrimination, especially against Christians in UK society.
‘I am not free to speak’
Speaking for the first time following the ordeal, Cllr Lawal said: “It is now almost impossible to say something biblically truthful on sexual ethics in UK society without being cancelled and having your life ruined.
“During Pride month, I was appalled by some of the illegal activity I saw online at these events. I had real concern for the children witnessing it who will grow up believing this is ok.
“It is very rare for me to take to twitter, but I saw that the pride movement was silencing any questioning or dissent and I could no longer be silent.
“What I said was biblically sound and a protected expression of the Christian faith.
“As the only black councillor in the whole of Northamptonshire, I know what it is like to be in the minority, and I would never discriminate against anyone. I have diligently represented all my constituents; however, I must also be free to express my beliefs without fear.
“The blunt emails and cancellations I received were shocking and hurtful. There was no respect, no conversation and no reasonableness.
“There were times when my heart was pounding and everything was spinning out of control over one tweet.
“What has happened shows that I am not free and that this is not a free country anymore. If it was free, I would be able to speak.
“The message my story sends is that Christians must stay silent on these issues, or else. What I expressed was not something I made up in my mind, it is what it says in the Bible.
“How I have been treated is really troubling for a democratic society. It must ring alarm bells and should concern everybody who cares about Christian freedoms and free speech as this can now happen to anyone that is not in support of this extreme LGBT movement.
“The bible tells us that to live out a true Christian calling you have to pick up your cross. I am determined to fight for justice, to clear my name and to ensure that this does not happen to another person.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “What has happened to Cllr Lawal has been brutal and is a clear case of viewpoint discrimination against a standard expression of Christian belief.
“Where is ‘diversity’, ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusion’ here? We have only a monoculture which requires approval, allegiance and promotion of LGBT Pride no matter what.
“Institutions and even the government have been captured to such an extent by this ideology that if you speak against it, within a week, you can become a ‘non-person.’
“The pace at which Cllr Lawal has been essentially removed from public life for expressing his beliefs is disturbing as he has been democratically elected and undemocratically cancelled.
“Local authorities, schools and even libraries cannot be allowed to discriminate against and exclude Christians and their beliefs under the increasingly draconian and oppressive banner of ‘inclusivity.’
“We stand with Cllr Lawal and will support him through multiple legal cases unless he is fully reinstated, his reputation restored, and his business protected.”
Find out more about King Lawal