Christian radio ad ban decision can be appealed

Fri, 17 Aug 2012

A Christian radio station has been given the go-ahead to appeal a court decision which upheld a ban on an advert asking Christians whether they are being sidelined at work.

In its decision to grant the appeal, the court said the radio station’s case is “Arguable and important”.

Premier Christian Radio had criticised the decision in April this year as “reminiscent of a totalitarian state”.

‘Political’

The legal wrangling centres on a 30 second advert, which was due to air at the time of the last general election.

The ad quoted surveys showing that 60 per cent of active Christians were being increasingly marginalised at work.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) stopped it from being aired, claiming that it was “directed to a political end”.

But lawyers for Premier said: “The advertisement was not a political message but a request for information which could then be used as part of the normal democratic process, where ideas and views are expressed in public discussion, contradicted, answered and debated.”

Debate

Now Premier has been given permission to appeal the decision.

Back in April, when the High Court upheld the ban, Peter Kerridge, the radio station’s chief executive, said: “The decision represents a direct threat to the democratic right to freedom of speech and we intend to continue the fight through the appeal process.

“It greatly reduces the right of ordinary people to have their say in democratic debate and, regrettably, seems to be wholly reminiscent of a totalitarian state.”