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Christian scout leader barred over Islam complaint gets pay-off

Sun 09 Sep 2018
By Alex Williams

A Christian scoutmaster from Bristol who was expelled after claiming the Scout Association was drifting away from its roots and giving a stronger voice to Islam is receiving a pay-off.

Brian Walker took the Scout Association - which was founded on Christian principles in 1908 - to court last year, claiming he had been discriminated against on the grounds of his faith

But it has now emerged the 63-year-old will receive damages - and funds to cover his legal costs - under an out-of-court settlement reached with scout bosses last month.

 

He said: "I am raising this case as I believe the fundamental values of Scouting are being undermined."

"Parents need to be made aware of what is happening at the centre of Scouting, and will eventually flow out into the local groups."

Mr Walker was expelled with immediate effect after he wrote to Scouting Magazine in March 2017, saying the movement was "promoting" Islam and LBGT pride events.

He raised several concerns, including one claim that the Scouts faith calendar mentioned Islam but did not feature Christmas or Easter.

Referring to the out-of-court settlement, a spokesperson for the Scout Association told the Mail on Sunday: "This does not imply that we accept Mr Walker's claim made against us or his view of the world.

"The Scouts do not accept Mr Walker was right when he made his offensive comments.

"As a charity, we had to weigh up whether it was worth using our limited time and money on a costly and prolonged legal dispute."

Mr Walker, who has part of the Scout movement for more than 50 years, also questioned allowing a Muslim scout leader to take girls canoeing while wearing her full Islamic veil.

He wrote: "Hello! Canoeists don't dress like that - because they need all round unobstructed vision so they protect the group, and of course they will most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent!"

The out-of-court settlement comes after the Scout Association unsuccessfully tried to convince a judge in Bristol to throw out Mr Walker's case.

Defending the letter he wrote, Mr Walker previously said: "I did not mean to offend anyone personally, but was making a wider point about the values of Scouting".

Mr Walker will donate the money he receives to the Christian Legal Centre, which supported him in his case.

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