MP urges no VISA for ‘anti gay’ preacher

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Blackpool MP Gordon Marsden has said he has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid in the hope of preventing the visit of an ‘anti-gay’ American preacher.

Franklin Graham is due to speak at the Festival of Hope at the Winter Gardens this weekend.

Mr Marsden said: “I have had a number of constituents, including local clergy and other faith leaders, who were alarmed and appalled by the derogatory and inflammatory views that Franklin Graham has expressed towards Muslims, members of the LGBT community and others. Blackpool welcomes every year millions of visitors of all faiths and none, as well as diverse families, members of the LGBT community and many different nationalities. Our residential community is similarly diverse.

“I’m therefore asking the Home Secretary to urgently consider stopping any further escalation of tension and hurt towards the groups he continues to attack in his preaching by barring his ability to speak at the Winter Gardens.”

A statement from Mr Graham, on the Festival of Hope website, read: “My message will be the simple Gospel message: a timeless message of God’s hope, love and redemption for all people. If anyone is searching for answers, wondering if their life has meaning and questioning if they are loved, I will have good news to share.”