From the Huddersfield Examiner
Laurence Fox held a rally in the middle of Batley this evening, defying a warning from Kirklees Council that it should not go ahead. The controversial actor addressed a crowd outside Batley Town Hall with no interference from the council and only a few police officers observing.
Mr Fox claimed candidates in the Batley and Spen by-election were not addressing the consequences of protests outside Batley Grammar School earlier this year sparked when a teacher showed a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson.
“We can’t have education policy dictated by intimidation, bullying and death threats,” he said, claiming the teacher was living in fear. “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we condone the opinions of those we disagree with. I stand with the teacher.”
Darren Grimes has a video of it here. The turnout to listen isn't bad. Had I relied only on tweets taunting Laurence Fox I might have thought that only 2 men and a dog turned up.
Other speakers included Workers Party candidate George Galloway, who demanded parents be given a say in topics their children were taught. Referencing Kirklees Council’s attempt to prevent the rally going ahead, he said: “Trying to ban a meeting on free speech, peak Kirklees Council don’t you think?” Not a huge fan of George Galloway, but when I think a man is right, I'll say so.
Independent politician Paul Halloran also spoke at the rally, calling the Batley Grammar incident is a “stain on our nation” and the teacher has become a “sacrificial lamb at the altar of political correctness”
Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater did not attend, but announcer Martin Daubney read out a statement she had sent. “The right to free speech comes with responsibilities,” he read