Andrew Copson and the British Humanist Association have failed in their legal bid to ban Richmond Council allowing the Catholic Church to build a much needed secondary and primary school. The British Humanist Association and the Richmond Inclusive Schools campaign failed to persuade the High Court that Richmond Council broke laws in approving new schools which can prioritise Catholic children, which has always been the practice of Catholic voluntary-aided schools.
The High Court judge Mr Justice Sales rejected the British Humanist Association application for judicial review, saying he would give his full reasons at a later date.
Richmond Council says it is delighted with the ruling.
The schools, one secondary and one primary, are being set up by the Catholic diocese of Westminster and are due to open in September. Applications for places have already been made.
After the ruling Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: “We are disappointed, but once we see the full reasons for this judgement we will appeal if we possibly can. Today’s case hinged on very technical issues but it raises wider questions relating to religious schools.”
Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “I am delighted with today’s outcome which supports the clear, democratic decision that was taken locally in pursuit of the previously longstanding policy of both parties on the council.
“It will come as an enormous relief to the hundreds of families whose hopes for their children’s education has been threatened by this hostile legal manoeuvring.”
Protect the Pope comment: It is obvious that Copson and the British Humanist Association are attempting to use the law to achieve their long-term goal of banning faith schools. As the Archdiocese of Westminster stated in their press release when Copson announced his misguided legal challenge, the British Humanist Association is ‘a national organisation that campaigns against the existence of all schools with a religious character’.
The motivation behind Copson and the British Humanist Association’s legal challenge has got nothing to do with inclusiveness in schools, and everything to do with their intolerant game-plan to ban all religious schools in the country.
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