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Bank account closures to be investigated

by Chris Eyte

MURDERERS, rapists and paedophiles are allowed to have bank accounts. But Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) ordered a church leader to close down his account within 14 days while an ex-gay ministry leader has just won £20,000 from Barclays The storm over Nigel Farage’s bank account closure by Coutts brought the situation of banks closing customers’ accounts for no apparent reason into the headlines.

Richard Fothergill speaking
Richard Fothergill speaking at a Filling Station meeting

After a dramatic Prime Minister’s Questions on 19 July, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that nobody should have their bank account closed on the grounds of exercising their right to free speech.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Defence is investigating why the accounts of military contractors were closed and Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has called in bosses of major banks for a meeting. The Treasury has sent 19 banks and financial institutions a letter saying the issue of “client de-banking” had raised “significant concern” in Parliament.

This is welcome publicity for Christians who have suffered the inconvenience of being ‘debanked’.

Rev Richard Fothergill, of Windermere, Cumbria, has banked with YBS for 17 years with no problems. But when he responded in June 2023 to the building society asking for feedback in a customer relations email – he received a “surprising letter” telling him, “the relationship between us is irretrievably broken down.”

“My bank’s defence suggests I was ‘rude, aggressive, violent or discriminatory’”

The church minister had written two paragraphs on the YBS feedback form, questioning why a financial body was spending resources on ‘Gay Pride’ promotion for the month of June, rather than on fiscal matters of interest to customers.

Richard Fothergill
Debanked: Richard Fothergill

He also cited serious ethical concerns as a church minister with the transexual political agenda and, in particular, some transsexuals “wanting access to children” – such as via ‘drag queen story hour’, which was promoted at some schools and libraries.

Rev Fothergill thought customer relations at YBS would take no heed of his feedback, so the response closing his account was a shock.

Rev Fothergill said: “YBS’s defence suggests I was ‘rude, aggressive, violent or discriminatory’ – I was none of these things. I was wholly polite, as I always try to be, all the way through my short message to them in the feedback email.”

YBS has not responded to the church minister, even though the Free Speech Union requested that the building society reinstate the account and issue an apology.

Rev Fothergill said on GB News: “If they are going to be that picky about the values and worldviews of their customers, they are not going to end up with many left. Genuine diversity is diversity of opinion, and we all have different views and we are allowed to express them. This is Britain.

“What I would like is an apology from YBS and I hope they won’t do this again, and bully and intimidate anyone else who has a different opinion to themselves.”

Barclays did not reinstate the closed banking account

Yorkshire Building Society refused to back down at the time of going to press.

A YBS spokesman told a national newspaper: “We never close savings accounts based on different opinions regarding beliefs or feedback provided by our customers.

“We only ever make the difficult decision to close a savings account if a customer is rude, abusive, violent or discriminates in any way, based on the specific facts, comments and behaviour in each case.”


Core Issues Trust compensated by Barclays

Mike Davidson was interviewed on GB News
Mike Davidson was interviewed on GB News on 29 June 2023 (Credit: GB News)

Barclays Bank has given compensation of £21,500 to the Core Issues Trust (CIT) after shutting down the charity’s bank account with no explanation.

Dr Mike Davidson, CEO of the CIT and formerly conflicted with homosexual feelings, said that there was a “sustained campaign” by LGBT activists in July 2020, which included attempts to end CIT’s registration with he Charity Commission of Northern Ireland. The charity supports men and women leaving LGBT identities and practices.

Davidson alleged that Barclays Bank was accused by the activists of supporting “conversion therapists”. Letters were sent by Barclays to CIT informing the charity that its bank accounts would be closed within two months CIT had to find another bank account and was refused by four banks before finding a new account. CIT used an existing related business account until the new account was opened in September 2020.

This lessened the financial pressure on CIT but one of its projects, the International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC), has still not found a bank willing to accept them.

Mike Davidson, CEO of the charity, with his wife Lynore
Mike Davidson, CEO of the charity, with his wife Lynore

In July 2020, Pink News, a LGBTQ+ news site, quoted a Barclays spokesman as saying: “We do not comment on individual cases. Our terms and conditions – like other banks – allow us to end a relationship with any customer, provided we give two months’ notice.”

Although compensation was given by Barclays, the bank did not reinstate the closed banking account.

“This is not the end of the dispute,” Davidson said. “We now live in a mono-cultural Britain where ideological diversity is no longer permissible. Even the authority of the Government’s Charity Commission is being challenged by the banks. If we are an approved charity, why does Barclays dispute our legitimacy?”

Meanwhile a Daily Telegraph report has said that most high street banks are members of a Diversity Champions programme run by gay rights charity Stonewall. The stated aim is to support LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace.However, the report references a previous finding by the Information Commissioner. It was found that the programme allowed Stonewall to exercise “a significant degree of influence over the policies that participating
members operate”.

Several banks are included in the list of Stonewall’s top 100 employers for 2023.

Rev Lynda Rose of Voice for Justice UK condemned “social engineering” by the banks and said the diversity programme promoted LGBTQ+ choices and behaviours and suppressed any deviation.

She said: “The inescapable, albeit unpalatable, truth would therefore seem to be that activists have captured the nation’s financial institutions and, through them, are attempting to bring in what they call ‘transformative  change’.

“In such a climate, troublesome customers might well be seen as fair game.”

Nat West’s war on account brings no peace to Tolstoy

Alexandra Tolstoy
Alexandra Tolstoy discussing her case
on GB News (Credit: GB News)

‘Big Brother’ is also closing the financial accounts of people who have not publicly professed the Christian faith.

In addition to Nigel Farage’s well-publicised run-in with Coutts, Countess Alexandra Tolstoy had her account closed without a proper explanation.

Alexandra Tolstoy, who lives in Wandsworth, London, had her NatWest account terminated with two months’ notice. She had opened the account in 2016 and depended on it for her adventure travel business and to meet the needs of her three children.

A data access request by Tolstoy revealed her account had been closed after the bank received allegedly whimsical evidence by World-Check, a database of some five million “politically exposed” people – a term used under EU law.

Tolstoy, whose former husband was Russian-born French oligarch Sergei Pugachev, said the bank’s actions terrified her. She said it was an “Orwellian nightmare” after the bank refused to discuss the matter. NatWest informed her that a cheque for her £12,000 in savings would be posted to her within 60 days.

Victims of ‘social murder’

‘Social murder’ is how TV presenter and historian Neil Oliver described the recent closure of politician Nigel Farage’s bank account by Coutts. The politician is not the only ‘non-person’ facing judgement by authorities

by Chris Eyte

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Those chilling words often attributed to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, may be an increasing reality in the United Kingdom.

Today we are seeing extremism that opposes traditional biblical truths influencing even the police and the banking system.

A mum of five cooking dinner is arrested and thrown in jail. A respectable church leader is unable to use his bank account after giving his opinion. A charity is also
denied access to its account, which is closed. These are scenarios we are used to reading in ‘persecuted countries’, such as on the Open Doors World Watch list. But it is really happening here in the UK – and not in a far-off country.

Caroline Farrow shared photos of themoment Surrey police arrived at her home to arrest her
Caroline Farrow shared photos of the moment Surrey police arrived at her home to arrest her (credit @TwitterCaroline Farrow)

Caroline Farrow, a Catholic commentator, has launched a CitizenGo petition in support of Rev Richard Fothergill after the Yorkshire Building Society closed his account. She said the primary function of banks should be managing money but now the financial bodies were taking on a new role: “engaging in social engineering and  imposing their beliefs on customers”.

She added: “Shockingly, they are now resorting to closing accounts of individuals who share a different opinion to that which they promote!” At the time, she told a national newspaper: “The police are supposed to act without fear or favour. But I’m an easy target because I don’t subscribe t   heir LGBTQ agenda. I’m meant to be a protected minority too but they don’t [care] about Christian views. “On social media I have had the most. vicious abuse for being a Catholic.” Meanwhile the transgender accuser posted a picture of themselves popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate Caroline’s arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector David Bentley was quoted as saying it was his police officers’ job to investigate when “a grossly offensive message is said to have been communicated”. Caroline herself knows what it’s like to be treated like a criminal for your faith beliefs. In October 2022, she endured her own ordeal when police raided her home after a transgender activist complained about a tweet she posted in support of a biblical understanding of sexual identity.

Her husband Robin, a Catholic priest, filmed her arrest when two police officers pushed their way into their home while mother of five Caroline was roasting a chicken for Sunday dinner. Her ‘crimes’ were “malicious communications and harassment”. In front of four of their children, the officers searched the house and took Farrow’s laptop and iPhone. They also took the iPad used by her ten-year old autistic daughter. Taken away to a police station, she had to take off her jewellery and watch and her socks were also searched. After three hours in a prison cell and two hours being interviewed, she had a mugshot photo taken, was fingerprinted and had swab samples taken from her mouth. Then she was released without charge.

At the time, she told a national newspaper: “The police are supposed to act without fear or favour. But I’m an easy target because I don’t subscribe to their LGBTQ agenda. I’m meant to be a protected minority too but they don’t [care] about Christian views.

“On social media I have had the most vicious abuse for being a Catholic.”

Meanwhile the transgender accuser posted a picture of themselves popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate Caroline’s arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector David Bentley was quoted as saying it was his police officers’ job to investigate when “a grossly offensive message is said to have been communicated”.

It’s time to uncover the truth about anti-Christian persecution in the UK

By Rev Lynda Rose

A new Commission of Inquiry will investigate complaints of intolerance, hostility and bigotry made by Christians in today’s Britain

That the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has called for an investigation into the country’s financial institutions is to be welcomed, but the problems extend far beyond the unwarranted closure of bank accounts.

Across government, education and the NHS, we’re seeing attempted social engineering by the back door across society. It must stop. It is the attempt of a new religion to assert dominance – a religion that will not allow dissent.

Faith must be suppressed

Rev Lynda Rose
Rev Lynda Rose: “Discrimination must stop”

But are Christians really suffering discrimination, or is it just the whingeing of a once elitist group that has lost its hold on power?

The National Secular Society (NSS) has no doubt. “The existence of a legally-enshrined national religion privileges one part of the population, one institution and one set of beliefs,” it says.

Less than half the population are Christian, it asserts, and faith, which has a disproportionate influence on government and in public life, must be suppressed!

In its place, the NSS has euphorically trumpeted ‘choice’, and especially the promotion of LGB and transgender ideology. But just how fair is the promotion of this new creed?

Consider just a few recent cases… a young Catholic woman arrested for praying silently outside an abortion clinic; a housing employee sacked for saying she upholds the biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman for life; a Christian councillor suspended from the Conservative Party after tweeting, “Pride is not a virtue but a sin”.

From the ever-growing number of complaints, the evidence seemingly indicates that, far from being a ‘privileged’ group, Christians today are increasingly the victims of discrimination and abuse.

New Commission of Inquiry

To uncover the truth, Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK) is soon to launch a Commission of Inquiry Into Discrimination Against Christians (CIDAC). We shall be inviting those claiming to have suffered intolerance, hostility, or bigotry in any form to submit evidence before a panel of commissioners with experience in human rights issues and abuse. A report will then be submitted to Parliament, with recommendations for action.

To submit evidence once the inquiry is launched, please contact CIDAC’s commission secretary: edmund@cidac.org.uk

Christians today are increasingly the victims of discrimination and abuse

Meanwhile, ahead of the inquiry, we want to get some idea of whether the many legal cases currently involving Christians are exceptional, or really are part of a more widespread campaign to promote political and social change.

Can you help us by filling out our short, anonymous survey: https://vfjuk.org/freedominfaith/

Please pass it on to your friends and family too. Help us make our voice heard in this land.

Councillor loses work after saying pride is sin

King Lawal
King Lawal is taking legal action (credit Christian Concern)

King Lawal, a 31-year-old Christian, was suspended as a Conservative councillor, dismissed as a trustee of a children’s charity, and suspended as a local school governor after quoting what the Bible says about pride on Twitter.

He was subsequently removed as a governor of a healthcare trust, blocked from holding a planned surgery in a local library, and warned he faced a potential police probe for hate crimes.

Then the council told his family business that unless he was immediately removed as director, the council would withdraw the contract it had with them, and they would receive snap inspections by council monitoring teams.

Lawal had written the following on Twitter after being concerned by the influence of pride events on children: “When did pride become a thing to celebrate? Because of pride Satan fell as an archangel. Pride is not a virtue but a sin. Those who have pride should repent of their sins and return to Jesus Christ. He can save you.”

He later gave a longer statement to clarify what he meant, what counts as sin, and why calling people to repentance was loving rather than hateful.

Under pressure, Lawal resigned from the family business, and he now plans to pursue multiple legal cases.

Intercessors for Britain commented: “Regardless of whether those cases succeed or not, the lesson is clear: we can now expect very swift and thorough persecution if we’re in the limelight and stand for the truth.”

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