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Christian ‘mocked and abused’ for his faith sues Liberal Democrats

A former BBC journalist and deselected Liberal Democrat candidate, David Campanale, has filed a lawsuit against his party, alleging discrimination due to his Christian faith, sparking significant controversy within the political sphere in the United Kingdom.


Campanale claims he was prevented from contesting as a member of parliament in Sutton and Cheam, a significant electoral battleground, because of deep-seated hostility from party members toward his religious views. The legal battle and public outcry have raised questions about religious freedom and discrimination within political parties in the U.K.


Campanale’s civil claim includes serious allegations against the current Liberal Democrat candidate, Luke Taylor, accusing him of leading a campaign that marginalized Campanale for his Christian beliefs, The Telegraph reported.


Campanale, who quit the BBC World Service to enter politics about two years ago, asserts that Taylor explicitly told him his conscience, informed by his faith, had no place in policy discussions within the party. Taylor’s remarks reportedly reflect a broader shift within the party, moving away from its historical inclusivity of Christian members toward a more secular identity.


The legal dispute has its roots in a prolonged campaign by local party members and activists, which Campanale describes as being “motivated primarily by animosity” towards his Christian stance on various social issues, including abortion and gay marriage. He links his treatment to broader societal issues where people of faith face discrimination,

suggesting a hypocrisy in how different beliefs are handled within the public sphere.


“I have been subjected to hostile, degrading and harassing conduct for holding Christian views. They are acting in defiance of our liberal values. This is not the party we are. Some people are Christian — get over it,” The Mail quoted Campanale as saying.


Bishop Andrew Watson of Guildford and Bishop Philip Mounstephen of Winchester have both publicly supported Campanale, underlining the importance of allowing individuals of faith to participate in public life without discrimination.


Statements issued by the bishops raise the concern that Christians are unfairly targeted for their views, a sentiment that has resonated with many, as evidenced by a petition calling for Campanale’s reinstatement which has garnered over 20,000 signatures.


The Liberal Democrats, however, maintain that their decision was procedural, with a spokesperson highlighting the presence of practicing Christians within party leadership and asserting that the deselection process was driven by legitimate concerns over Campanale’s alignment with the party’s values rather than his faith per se.


 “The Liberal Democrat leader and all of our London MPs are churchgoing Christians, and this complex case about David Campanale which began during Covid, resulted in him being deselected and the local party overwhelmingly voting for a new candidate,” a Lib Dem spokesman was quoted as saying.


The case has been taken up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is assessing multiple complaints regarding the treatment Campanale received, with potential implications for how political parties in the U.K. navigate the complex terrain of religious expression and party politics.


Campanale’s legal challenges continue as he seeks a formal declaration that his deselection was unlawful and discriminatory, alongside compensation for the alleged harm suffered.

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