Sacked magistrate gets suspended by the NHS

Sacked magistrate gets suspended by the NHS March 28, 2016

Reacting to news that Richard Page, above, a Christian magistrate sacked after voicing his opposition to adoption by same-sex parents, has now been been suspended as a non-executive director by an NHS trust, Andrea Minichiello Williams, inset, barrister and founder of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

For the past decade, we at the Christian Legal Centre have been warning that Christians are being marginalised and removed from public life.
We have seen it in nursing, in counselling, in teaching, amongst registrars and now we see it amongst magistrates and NHS trust executives.
It is time for MPs to take serious note and look afresh at the equality legislation which was badly drafted and consistently gives more rights to some groups over those of the Christian faith.

Andrew Ling, chairman of the Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust (KMPT), had written to the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) requesting the suspension of the 69-year-old.
Page, who has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years, said of  his suspension:

Last week, the Prime Minister distributed an Easter video in which he commended Christians and the church for their vital role in society, stating that we are a Christian country and should be proud of it.
However, his government has brought in laws which effectively silence Christians and remove them from the public square. It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian, to state what the Bible actually says and what the church has believed for 2,000 years, and maintain a role in public life in today’s Britain.
My seat on the NHS trust came as a result of my long service in mental health and total commitment to the NHS – none of that has changed.
The trust says in his [Ling’s] letter that it is committed to ‘challenge discrimination and treat everyone fairly and impartially’ – all evidence to the contrary. What about treating my views, held by billions of Christians around the world, equally and fairly?

Ling said Page’s comments about same sex adoption, and continuance as a trust member would have a major impact on staff, patients and “the perception of living the trust values”, adding:

The recent publicity you have courted is likely to further undermine the confidence staff, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered [LGBT] staff, have in the leadership of the trust.
Links between the stigma often associated with being LGBT and poor mental health are well established. It is vital that patients and [the] local population are confident that KMPT will challenge stigma or discrimination and treat everyone fairly and impartially.

A spokesperson for the NHS Trust Development Authority said:

Following Mr Page’s comments, Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust asked the TDA to consider suspending Mr Page from his role as non-executive director.
After careful consideration, we have suspended Mr Page with immediate effect from 22 March 2016 pending a decision about whether it is in the interests of the NHS to take any further action and for him to remain in post as a non-executive director of the trust.
In making this decision, we will take into consideration the implications of any comments made by Mr Page which could affect the confidence and willingness of patients to access vital healthcare, regardless of their sexuality, race, gender or age, and put the needs of the trust’s current and future patients first.

A KMPT spokeswoman added:

We can confirm that we have suspended Richard Page from Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust board.
Our decision follows Mr Page being removed from the magistracy after the public comments he made about single-sex adopters. As an organisation that takes equality and diversity very seriously, we have considered and discussed the impact this might have on our staff and our service users.
We have come to the decision that Mr Page’s comments could potentially impact on the confidence of current or future patients and for that reason we have suspended Mr Page from his non-executive position.

Hat tip: Peter Sykes

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  • Stephen Mynett

    With Williams involved it looks as if we are for another pointless lawsuit, not really a surprise where whining Christians are involved. It is a pity they cannot see the difference between a right and a privilege or perhaps they can and are ignoring it, they have every right to believe and say what they want and that should be the case but they should be able to victimise people and deny them adoption because of their beliefs.
    Twenty years ago in would have been seen as acceptable to deny LGBT couple adoption as the church still had some sway, likewise, go further back and it was acceptable to imprison or fine people for blasphemy as the church had more control over society. Thankfully that control is gradually being whittled away. Unfortunately, the likes of Williams and Page cannot see that what they have lost in the past decade are not rights but privileges.

  • Newspaniard

    The woman inset looks like the type who never EVER, EVER, EVER loses an argument.

  • Broga

    We were drenched in Christianity over Easter by the BBC. Despite that Christianity is still fading because: a. a God for which there has never at any time, in any place, and in anyone’s experience been the slightest indication of its existence; b. a Holy Book which is a mess of contradictions, cruelties and impossibilities and which is cited as God’s truth; c. a priesthood whose behaviour often plumbs the depths.

  • Club Secretary

    I agree with Andrea Williams that equalities legislation is badly drafted, the list of “protected characteristics” is in error in that one of the protected characteristics, the only one that is a “lifestyle choice” shouldn’t be there, RELIGION or belief.

  • L.Long

    The crazy woman in the pix should told by her xtian males to shut up and make a sandwich! I love hypocrite xtians especially the women who don’t know their proper place and shut up!!!!

  • Barty

    Make no mistake … the pious will use every means, every subterfuge, every lie, every diversion to get what they want …and that is unrestricted totalitarian power over those of us who reject their stupid dangerous criminal and retarding dogma.

  • AgentCormac

    So, Page is offended by the treatment that he and his 2,000-year-old beliefs have been given. What he might wish to take into consideration is that this is not the 1st century it’s the 21st century and his pre-historic values are neither relevant or welcome.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: This will make you laugh (or cry). The Mail is running its annual article about Easter Eggs bearing no reference to the “Christian celebration” of Easter (though they actually do – on the back). One commenter is bemoaning the fact that there were no religious programmes on TV over Easter (yes – that’s what he says !). When I pointed out that there were loads, I was immediately voted down, yet all you have to do is look through last weekend’s papers, or this week’s TV guide, to see that I am absolutely correct. Is this deliberate distortion of the truth, or is it yet another symptom of their delusion of persecution? Some of the comments are well worth reading, yet again!
    Are you surprised? They would sell their eggs to the devil to increase their profits…
    Morrisons the supermarket did the same thing with their tv ads, calling it ‘tradition’, with no mention of Easter at all, so all of our family voted with our feet and shopped at Asda and Sainsbury’s where ‘Easter’ was writ large!

    What is the matter with these people?

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: I did find many of the comments funny especially the bit about no religious programmes over Easter. I don’t know if you spotted the piece in The Mail On Line which, after commenting on the decline in religious belief, said even prominent atheists believed in life after death.
    I was interested to see which atheists. It turned out that what the atheists were discussing was why people had the need to think there was life after death. The Mail was offering a sop after admitting there was a decline in religious belief.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: Yes, I did read that, and it’s something about nothing again. The poll revealed that most people no longer believe in god, but that they do think that there is some sort of existence after life. That’s not exactly an assertion that they “believe in heaven”, is it? They’ve been running a lot of articles again recently about people whose deceased relatives have got in touch with them. Unanswerable proof of the “spiritual realm”, I’m sure!

  • Bob

    Further evidence of persecution.

  • Peter Sykes

    Stephen Mynett:
    This quote comes to mind:
    “To many Christians their immense privilege seems invisible.” – Jason Pitzl-Waters

  • barriejohn

    Hilarious comment from Bob again. He’s really excelled himself this time!