A church minister who witnessed the unfair arrest of a street preacher has accused the Metropolitan police of putting the rights of LGBT people above those of other protected characteristics.
While sharing the Gospel outside Uxbridge station, Free Methodist minister Peter Simpson and fellow pastor John Sherwood were instructed by police officers to stop preaching as they had received complaints that what they were saying was ‘homophobic’.
Mr Sherwood, who had preached from Genesis 1 about the creation of families with both a father and mother, was forcibly removed from the platform he was standing on and was taken away in handcuffs, although he was later released without charge.
Revd Simpson said he would tell the London force: “you have actually already proven that you cannot be impartial in dealing with preachers, especially when it comes to LGBT matters. Because of your brazen participation all around the country, in Pride events. Police cars are painted in rainbow colours.
“It is a political move. Taking part in the parade of campaigning groups who are involved in political activism. The police should be divorced from political activism.”
See the moment Pastor John Sherwood is arrested:
He added that he will continue preaching on LGBT issues in the future.
He explained: “We’ve never majored on it. But we do refer to it, like we refer to abortion. And again, this does upset some Christian people, sadly, but we feel that there is a duty to mention the sins of any one generation.”
“The LGBT movement is trying to mould the whole of society”.
In recent years, a number of street preachers who have been arrested or had their free speech curtailed by police officers have ultimately been vindicated.
In November 2019, Dale Mcalpine was paid £4,000 plus costs from Cumbria Police in settlement after pursuing a claim for wrongful arrest in July 2018.
Also in 2019, Oluwole Ilesanmi was arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime after he criticised Islam while preaching in London.
And in 2011, John Craven was wrongfully arrested by police and held in custody for over 19 hours after he quoted the Bible’s stance on homosexuality.
While detained, Craven was not offered food for almost 15 hours, and he says he was also denied access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis.
Following legal assistance from The Christian Institute, he received £13,000 compensation in an out-of-court settlement.