A LABOUR councillor has written to the Home Secretary urging her to deport a “homophobic” Pastor who said there is “no such thing as a gay Christian.”
Newquay Town Councillor Stephen Hick wrote to Priti Patel on Friday asking her to investigate Pastor Josh Williamson – branding him a “hate preacher”.
Pastor Williamson, of Newquay Baptist Church, Cornwall, has been causing uproar among the LGBTQ+ community after hailing “hallelujah” at news that Cornwall Pride would not go ahead this year.
The 34-year-old, originally from Australia, wrote on Facebook saying he “prayed” that the event would be cancelled and that the “the Lord would save the organisers”.
He also handed out homophobic leaflets to the public titled “Jesus never talked about homosexuality”.
Police were forced to intervene and told the Pastor not to offend the community – despite receiving threats online saying a group were planning to have a gay “orgy outside his door”.
Now Councillor Hick has stepped in and sent a letter to Patel urging her to intervene and send Pastor Williamson back to Australia.
The letter reads: “I write to you today and ask that you investigate and consider removing a foreign hate preacher from the United Kingdom.
“I understand that you have the power to do this if you believe their presence in the United Kingdom is ‘not conducive to the public good’, I believe you should pay careful consideration to the misconduct of this preacher in the UK and whether he meets the criteria for removal.
“Josh Williamson appears to have a hatred of the LGBTQ+ community that he preaches online, verbally, in print – in fact any opportunity he gets.
“Several of his posts and the printed material he distributes have been reported to our local police.
“Ministers of religion are not exempt from the standards of behaviour expected of everyone in the UK, in fact it is quite reasonable to expect them to behave with due regard to their position within the community and the influence they have on other people.
He continued: “Josh Williamson’s ministry has caused harm to members of the community of Newquay and the wider LGBTQ+ community across Cornwall, I believe his continued presence, preaching the hate that he does presents a continuing harm to the same communities.
“I am unaware of the previous ministry of this particular church, but a foreign preacher travelling to the UK to promote and potentially act upon extremist views should be treated with the utmost seriousness – using an established institution to promote such views is of course one of the PREVENT criteria.”
Councillor Hicks, who is a member of Cornwall Pride, said he wrote the letter as a representative of the people of Newquay and added the views are his own and not of Newquay Town Council.
Pastor Williamson responded to news of the letter on Facebook, writing: “Is it tolerant to call for a Pastor to be removed from the country and to have his visa revoked?
“We will not bow to his anti-Christian hatred and his racism. He can bully all he wants, but bullies should not be surrendered to.
“By God’s grace we will keep proclaiming Christ even though this man engages in hate speech.”