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Mayor of London speaks out against attempt to ban town hall prayers

Mayor Boris Johnson

Mayor Boris Johnson

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said that any attempt to remove prayers from the beginning of council meetings would be misguided.

In response to an NSS (National Secular Society) campaign to remove council prayers, the Mayor told Premier Radio today:  "Whatever they [councillors] may think about the existence or non existence of God...they should focus briefly in a moment of prayer, which is a unique period of personal reflection, they should focus on what they're doing, the importance of what they're doing. Any attempts to ban it would be misguided."

The Mayor's comments come after a demand from the NSS to remove prayers from council meetings. A statement on the NSS website argues that 'religious worship has no place in a secular debating chamber that exists to serve all sections of the community, regardless of their religious beliefs, or indeed lack of them.'

Currently, many local councils across the country being their meetings with prayers. Peter Kerridge, Chief Executive of Premier, does not believe that there is any need to remove the prayers from the start of the meetings.

"Conducting prayers before meetings goes far beyond tradition. The Mayor is right when he says that prayer is valuable as a time for personal reflection, whether you are Christian or not," said Kerridge. "I would hope that the NSS would respect the practice of prayers at the beginning of council meetings and those who attend who disagree, or do not wish to participate, are happy to be tolerant and respectful of those who do."

Premier Christian Radio is available across England on DAB digital radio