Telegraph cartoonist targets ridiculous council prayer ban

Daily Telegraph cartoonist, Matt, has poked fun at the ban on council prayers, juxtaposing it with the release from prison of extremist hate preacher Abu Qatada.

The cartoon, which can be viewed here, shows two police officers saying: “If he ever says prayers before a council meeting, he’ll be straight back inside”.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “Matt’s cartoon hits the nail on the head and reflects just how ridiculous most people think the prayer ban is, particularly in the light of other recent decisions.”


The cartoon follows a huge reaction to Friday’s High Court ruling that the saying of prayers as a ‘formal’ part of local council meetings is unlawful.

Judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, said there is no law that gives councils the power to do so.

Critics hit out the decision, with Labour MP Chris Bryant calling it “utterly preposterous”.


Later on Friday a Government minister pledged to overturn the ban.

Eric Pickles, who is the Minister in charge of local government, said he will fast-track the commencement of a new law that will restore the right of councils to say prayers at official meetings, if they so wish.

He said he hoped this change could be made by the end of this week.


The case, against Bideford Town Council, was brought by the National Secular Society (NSS) and a secularist former councillor, Mr Clive Bone.

The Christian Institute supported the Council, and after the ruling Institute spokesman Simon Calvert warned: “This case was brought by a campaign group that wants to drive Christianity out of public life”.

He added the High Court had given the NSS “great encouragement to take matters further”.

“It is high time Parliament put a stop to this assault upon our national heritage”, Mr Calvert commented.

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