Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeCulture WarAnatomy of a shameful Tory witch hunt

Anatomy of a shameful Tory witch hunt


THE story of the ‘reinstatement’ of cancelled Christian councillor King Lawal shows how seedy the Conservative Party’s London centre has become.

Though last week Lawal regained the Conservative whip on North Northamptonshire Unitary Council, Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) is continuing to investigate him after he posted a tweet in June criticising LGBT Pride.

CCHQ is even inviting further complaints against him. In a statement following his reinstatement by his local party, a spokesman said: ‘The Conservative Party has a robust complaints process in place. This process is rightly a confidential one, so that complainants can come forward in confidence.’

According to Christian Concern, which has been supporting King Lawal since his local party suspended him under pressure from CCHQ, this is what cancellation involved for him: ‘For one tweet, which said “Pride is a sin not a virtue”, Cllr King Lawal, 31, had the whip removed by the local Conservative Group at North Northamptonshire Unitary Council and was removed as Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee and vice-chair of the Scrutiny Management Board and other positions.

‘Within days of the tweet, Cllr Lawal was also warned of a possible police investigation and 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 price he had to pay for his reinstatement was the following statement, agreed with his local party chiefs, which he made to a full council meeting last week:

‘On June 29th I posted a tweet which I understand some people were offended by. The tweet was an expression of my Christian faith by quoting passages from the Bible. This was an exercise in free speech. As a councillor, I act equally for the residents of the areas in which I am elected in all areas of debate and discussion. I represent all members of my constituency without fear or favour and undertake my role as a councillor with impartiality and without bias. My intention in posting the tweet was not to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person or persons.’

Labour members of the Conservative-run council staged a protest while Cllr Lawal issued his statement by standing up and wearing rainbow sashes.

According to the BBC, the leaders of the Labour group complained that his statement ‘did not go far enough to address the hurt . . . we don’t believe he expressed any apology in his statement’.

Arguably, the non-apology is to Lawal’s credit. There are serious safeguarding concerns around some activities at city-centre Pride marches, particularly sexualised actions performed in front of children. Surely a conscientious councillor is right to raise moral concerns about Pride (which happen to resonate with a growing number of voters alarmed at the power of LGBT ideology)?

Pointing out that Lawal’s views on Pride are in line with those of many potential Conservative voters at the 2024 General Election, I asked CCHQ: ‘Is it the case that the post-Cameronite Conservative Party is now so keen to ingratiate itself with the powerful LGBT lobby in the mainstream media, particularly in the BBC, in the civil service, among woke capitalists and in the Metropolitan elite generally, that they are quite sanguine about alienating such voters?’ In reply I got the statement from the spokesman I quoted above.

I asked former Brexit Minister Lord (David) Frost, who resigned honourably in 2021 from former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government over its ‘direction of travel’, what he thought of King Lawal’s treatment by CCHQ. He told me: ‘I’m glad Councillor Lawal has been reinstated but sorry the process is continuing. I find this baffling but then I find a lot of things baffling nowadays! I do hope it comes to a satisfactory solution soon.’

It would if David Frost, whose articles in the Telegraph are a truthful voice in the wilderness, were leader of the Conservative Party. In fact, King Lawal would never have been suspended in the first place. But under the Blairite Conservatives, Pride apparently takes precedence over core Conservative voters.

Is it any wonder the party is facing electoral meltdown?

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Heysham, Lancashire.

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