Bishop cancels Walker talk
A TALK by anti-Israel activist Jackie Walker in a church hall was called off on Monday following an intervention by the Bishop of Edinburgh.
Ms Walker, who is facing expulsion from the Labour Party over comments about Holocaust Memorial Day and antisemitism, had been scheduled to speak at a Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign event near to the city’s castle.
But Episcopalian Bishop John Armes emailed the group to say he was cancelling the event, at St Columbia’s hall, after gauging “wider implications” of staging a talk by the controversial activist.
In a statement Bishop Armes said: “We support freedom of speech; we also seek close and friendly relationships with people of every faith.
“On this occasion I considered that these two important values collided. I believe that the organisers of all political gatherings must take care to ensure that individuals and religious groups are not singled out for abuse because of their beliefs.
“My advice was that it would have been unacceptable for a gathering to take place in one of our churches that might encourage such abuse.”
Ms Walker later gave a speech outside the church in which she stated: “Let me reiterate, opposition to a Jewish state is and remains a legitimate honourable political position.”