The following exchange took place during Commons questions to the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday 18 September:
“Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): The recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Christians who were penalised for wearing a cross at work or taking a stand for their religious beliefs. That has caused great concern, and many people are asking where is the protection and religious freedom for Christians. What steps will be taken to prevent the erosion of justice for those with Christian beliefs, and to provide people with the protection that they should—and must—have?
Damian Green (Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice): The Government support people’s right to wear a cross, and the law requires employers to consider whether any provisions or criteria that they adopt would disadvantage employees of any religion. We have discussed court actions in a previous Question Time, and common sense is important on behalf of both courts and employers, so as to allow the legitimate expression of religious views in the workplace.” [HC Deb 18 September cc 781–782: emphasis added]
The merest soupçon of common sense wouldn’t do some MPs any harm either. So the ECtHR has “ruled against Christians”, has it? So when did that happen? Has he seen a bootlegged copy of a very early draft judgment on Eweida & Co? And if he has, can anyone tell me where I can get one?