Heather Jameson 26 November 2019

Council wins battle to ban anti LGBT protests

Birmingham City Council has won a court battle to permanently ban anti-LGBT protests outside a local primary school.

Anderton Park School in Sparkhill has seen months of protests by Muslim parents and anti-LGBT campaigners over its teaching of equalities.

In June, the council applied for a temporary order to halt the protests which saw up to 300 people gather outside the school. Now the beleaguered council has had a High Court win, extending the injunction.

Birmingham’s director of education and skills, Dr Tim O’Neill, said the fight for an injunction was about protecting the school and community from anti-social behaviour, not about halting peaceful protests.  

He said: ‘Protests of this kind only serve to attract fringe elements whose aim is to stoke division and hatred. We would therefore continue to encourage any concerned parents to engage with the school to have constructive discussions and address any issues.’

He warned this would be particularly important when the Department for Education introduced compulsory relationship education next year.

He added: ‘Birmingham is diverse and inclusive – these are its strengths – and we must all come together to ensure all children get the best education possible and are able to fully engage in all aspects of their life  in this wonderful city and country.’

The ruling follows a five day hearing into the council’s application to make the exclusion zone permanent. Three protestors, Amir Ahmed, Shakeel Afsar and Rosina Afsar, fought the application, claiming they were exercising their right to free speech.

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