A Christian who was dismissed as a magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice, after expressing his view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father, is challenging the NHS trust which subsequently removed him as a director.
Richard Page, who had nearly 20 years’ experience as a finance director in the NHS, was suspended from his role as a non-executive director of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust in March 2016.
The trust believed this expression of his views about family life had ‘undermined’ the confidence of staff, particularly LGBT staff, despite his longstanding service to the NHS. The panel had received only one complaint about Mr Page’s views, but had also been made aware of almost 7,000 emails supporting him.
Moreover, he had been expressing his views about adoption while serving as a Justice of the Peace, and had appeared on television in 2016 to defend his position that children should be ideally raised by a mother and a father.
Evangelical Times reported in January 2017 that an employment tribunal judge found Mr Page’s case was indeed ‘crying out to be heard’ and, during this preliminary hearing, said an appeal would have merit.
Mr Page, from Kent, is bringing a claim of discrimination, harassment and victimisation against the NHS Trust Development Authority, under the Equality Act 2010. The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) supported his claim during the four-day hearing in August, held at Croydon employment tribunal. He was represented by Pavel Stroilov.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the CLC, said: ‘Who wins from this situation? Society is being deprived of a long-standing, sacrificial public servant, simply because he has expressed what many people believe about family life. This case is another in a long line of cases that demonstrates the intolerance of our illiberal elites. Far from promoting diversity, they punish people like Mr Page who serves his community so well.
‘This case shows the ugly face of the LGBT lobby that is incapable of tolerating anyone brave enough to challenge their lifestyle. The lobby will not be satisfied until they have eliminated any whiff of dissent in public life. They are the bullies’.