Christian councillor protests suspension at Conservative Party Conference

Cllr King Lawal.(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

A Christian councillor suspended after sharing a tweet in which he criticised LGBT Pride events has staged a protest at the Conservative Party Conference.

Cllr King Lawal was suspended as a local Conservative Party councillor in July, pending an investigation, despite his beliefs being protected under law. 

In the tweet he said, "Pride is not a virtue but a sin," and said that those who have pride should repent.

The councillor said he had been concerned about the nature of some Pride activities taking place in the presence of children. He later defended his tweet and explained that calling something sinful was not an expression of hate.

"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," he said.

"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."

The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting him, said Lawal was warned at the time about a possible police investigation for alleged 'hate crimes'.

He has said previously that he plans to take legal action against his suspension.

Over 27,000 people have signed a petition calling on Conservative Party Chairman, Greg Hands, to ensure his reinstatement.

Joined by supporters, he held a protest outside the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Tuesday. 

He said he was "encouraged" by the support he had received from others at the conference. 

"Ordinary members of the party, and MPs too are shocked and disturbed that I would be suspended for expressing my Christian beliefs," he said. 

"I have done nothing more than express my widely shared Christian beliefs. There are many Christians in the Conservative Party who share my beliefs. I very much hope that the Conservative Party will see sense and reinstate me without delay. As things stand the message is that the party does not tolerate expression of Christian beliefs."

He continued, "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."

CLC chief executive Andrea Williams 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.

"The Conservative Party has been captured to such an extent by this ideology that if you speak against it, within a week you face disciplinary sanctions.

"The pace at which Cllr Lawal has been penalised for expressing his beliefs is disturbing as he has been democratically elected and undemocratically cancelled.

"There are many Christians in the Conservative Party, and many others who share views similar to those of Cllr Lawal. The Conservative Party should welcome and allow Christian members of the Party to share their Christian and biblical views relating to our culture.

"We hope that the Conservative Party will see sense and reinstate Cllr Lawal without delay."