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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Nottingham Council serves injunction against 40 Days for Life leader

22 March 2018

The peaceful Nottingham vigil

He was given no chance to defend himself 

After a secret court hearing last Friday, Nottingham City Council has served a no-notice injunction preventing Dr John Edwards, the local organiser of the Nottingham 40 Days for Life Vigil, from participating in the Vigil until further notice.

The 40 Days for Life Vigil has been taking place on Leen Gate, outside the grounds of QMC Hospital in Nottingham, for the 40 days of Lent. 

Authoritarian actions

Dr Edwards (who is separately involved in the SPUC Nottingham branch) was not given any opportunity to defend himself against the injunction. He has written about the intimidation and abuse the vigil participants have faced from pro-abortion protesters throughout the campaign. 

The injunction imposed last week only applies to Dr Edwards, and does not stop the Vigil continuing. However, the council has said it will return to court tomorrow (23 March), in an attempt to widen it to include other members of the Vigil. 


Leaders of the Vigil have have vowed to fight what they have described as an "unwarranted attack by Nottingham City Council". A spokeswoman said: "This is nothing less than an act of bullying by Nottingham City Council aimed at preventing a respected member of the community from exercising his basic rights to freedom of expression and to pray in public. For the Council to take this action against Dr Edwards without giving him a chance to defend himself is particularly disgraceful.

No evidence of "harassment"

"Nowhere in the Court documents is there any suggestion that Dr Edwards or any other participant in the vigil has said or done anything abusive or insulting to anyone visiting or working in the Hospital," she continued. "The documents provided by the Council to the Court actually acknowledge that our Vigil has been completely peaceful at all times and that any disturbance has been created by pro-abortion counter protesters. This has been confirmed in writing by the police so it is difficult to understand why the Council have chosen to target a respected member of a peaceful vigil."

Where does it end?

"We have had many expressions of support from patients and people working at QMC who are grateful for our presence," the statement says. "Abortion is a sensitive and difficult subject and of course not everyone agrees with our view. The issues here are about freedom of speech and the right of citizens to hold peaceful protests. The Human Rights Act makes clear that all people have the right to express their views and to exercise their religion in a public space as long as they do so peacefully. If the Council is successful in stopping Dr Edwards from participating in our Vigil, then every peaceful protest will be at risk, whether on environmental issues, animal rights, or nuclear weapons.

"Dr Edwards is determined to fight this unwarranted attack by Nottingham City Council on his human rights and we are sure that justice will prevail. We call upon the Council to stop their bullying attempts to interfere with free speech immediately."

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Comments (5)

  • Dominic Stockford

    22 March 2018, 4:23pm

    Totalitarian repression of a 'different' point of view. Wrong.

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  • Evelyne Talbot

    23 March 2018, 7:45am

    On what grounds are Nottingham Council issuing this injunction?

    Your comment has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval
  • Clive Teale Evelyne Talbot

    23 March 2018, 4:35pm

    Causing distress to vulnerable women who are acting perfectly lawfully in seeking abortion advice and services.

    Your comment has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval
  • Clive Teale

    23 March 2018, 12:40pm

    About time that the sheer nastiness of the harassment of distressed women was tackled.

    Your comment has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval
  • Jason Wojtyla Clive Teale

    27 March 2018, 5:19pm

    Indubitably. This alone constitutes a sufficient reason for banning abortion.
    The abortion trade is taking advantage of vulnerable women, putting them at risk of severe psychological trauma, and those who defend such practices should be ashamed of themselves.

    Your comment has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval

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