Court of Appeal to hear banned bus ads case

10 December 2014

Today (10 December) the Court of Appeal will hear the case of Christian charity Core Issues Trust vs Transport for London. It concerns the banning of Advertisements that were due to run on London buses in April 2012.


In April 2012, Transport for London (TfL) banned posters issued by Christian charity Core Issues Trust intended for display on London buses. Part of the case revolves around the role of London Mayor, Boris Johnson, whose re-election campaign was in full swing at the time.

The adverts were created in response to the adverts of homosexual campaign group Stonewall, which TfL did allow to be put on London buses. Stonewall’s ads read: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”.

The Core Issues ads read: “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” and were presented in the same style as the Stonewall Ads to make clear that they were a response.

The adverts highlighted that there are people in society who do not want to embrace a ‘gay identity’ despite having feelings of same sex attraction in the present and/or past. Some media outlets mistakenly reported that the posters were advertising ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Previous judgment

In a High Court judgment last March, Mrs Justice Lang drew attention to the potential significance of missing evidence from the Mayor’s Office.

She also highlighted that had Mr Johnson’s electoral prospects influenced the decision at the expense of “a proper exercise of TfL’s powers and duties” this would “call into question the lawfulness of the decision.”

Court of Appeal hearing

Core Issues Trust will ask that Boris Johnson and Guto Harri be brought before the Court of Appeal to explain why the new evidence was not submitted to the High Court.

Dr Mike Davidson, Director of Core Issues Trust said:

“I firmly believe that had Mrs Justice Lang seen the undisclosed correspondence, she would have reached a different conclusion about the Mayor’s motivation and role in banning the adverts.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, commented:

“This case reveals how far the political elite is prepared to go to pander to the homosexual agenda. When the Mayor of London and his most senior media adviser fail to provide crucial evidence in an email trail to the High Court, then freedom of speech is under serious threat.”

Maria Miller

The case has also attracted an intervention by Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities.

In her intervention, Mrs Miller, challenges a reading of the Equality Act relied upon by Mrs Justice Lang in dismissing Core Issues Trust’s case at the High Court.

Find out more about Core Issues Trust
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