Cameron and Miliband back religious freedom

In the run up to the General Election, Ed Miliband and David Cameron have voiced support for the freedom of Christians to practise their faith.

Speaking to an evangelical church in South London, Mr Miliband signalled that he would consider legislation to protect religious expression.

And addressing Christians at the Festival of Life, David Cameron said that the UK stands for the “freedom to practise your faith”.


Taking questions after his address, Mr Miliband, a self-declared atheist, was asked whether he would consider legislation to protect Christians in the work place, in light of recent cases where Christians were disciplined for their beliefs.

He said that this is something “we should look at”, adding: “Religious freedom is incredibly important and that’s something we prize in our country”.

The Labour leader continued: “We must do everything we can to make sure that religious freedom is protected and I am very clear about that.

Christian faith

“The articulation of people’s Christian faith is a thing that they should be, absolutely, allowed to do.”

Mr Miliband also committed to working closely with faith schools and said that religious groups running community projects should not face suspicion.

The Prime Minister similarly stressed the importance of religious freedom when he addressed around 45,000 people at the Festival of Life in London.


Mr Cameron said, “let us be proud that this is a Christian country, where we stand for the freedom to practise your faith, and where we stand up for Christians and all those who are persecuted anywhere in our world”.

He went on to visit a Sikh temple in Kent, to mark the Vaisakhi festival, and told people there: “I’m proud to be the first prime minister to host a Vaisakhi reception at Number 10”.

In January this year, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said that free speech has to be for everyone if it is to mean anything, as he warned against “knee-jerk authoritarianism” in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France.

For everyone

Writing in The Daily Telegraph he said: “Free speech cannot just be for people we agree with. If it is to mean anything, free speech has to be for everyone.”

Responding to his remarks, former cabinet minister Lord Tebbit said that politicians should “see what more can be done” to help Christian street preachers and guesthouse owners.

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