News from Europe

Blackpool Transport has to pay reparations for discrimination of Christians

After a court ruling, council owned Blackpool Transport has now agreed to pay £109,000 in damages caused to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for banning adverts for an event organised by the same. The public transportation company banned the advertisements after evangelist Franklin Graham, who was an invited guest speaker at the Festival of Hope event, commented upon Islam and homosexuality.


Additionally, the transport company offered a public apology and have now implemented clear policies regarding adverts The advertisements, read “Time for hope” and were planned to appear on the side of local buses, to promote the ‘Festival of Hope’ event. However, they were cancelled to be displayed since publicly funded Blackpool Transport raised concern Graham’s visit would incite hatred. 

“The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening to and acting on customer and public feedback, which we aim to do at all times. Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset”, reads a statement by Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport.

Thousand attended the Festival of Hope at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and heard Graham speech, with hundreds responding to his altar call. In court Judge Claire Evans stated: “The Defendants had a wholesale disregard for the right to freedom of expression possessed by the Claimant. It gave a preference to the rights and opinions of one part of the community without having any regard for the rights of the Claimant or those who shared its religious beliefs.”

Judge Evans ruled that Blackpool Transport violated the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act, by cancelling the adverts. Since the settlement consists of £84,000 legal costs and £25,000 in damages caused to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Blackpool Council accepted the courts ruling. 


Leave a reply