Tees

BNP activist Adam Walker loses Michael Gove teaching ban challenge

  • 14 February 2014
  • From the section Tees
Adam Walker
Image caption The former teacher at Houghton Kepier Sports College took Mr Gove to court, claiming the decision was "prejudiced" because of his politics

A British National Party (BNP) activist who was given a lifetime teaching ban has lost his legal challenge against Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Adam Walker, of Spennymoor, was struck off for life in 2013 and given a suspended sentence for verbally abusing three boys and dangerous driving.

The 44-year-old said the length of the ban was because of his BNP support.

Judge Clive Heaton said Mr Walker's argument "lacked any credible evidence".

Mr Walker, who now works for two British National Party MEPs, was initially given a minimum ban of two years by a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) conduct panel for verbally abusing the boys and slashing their bike tyres with a knife in 2011.

He admitted he had "made a mistake" but claimed he had been provoked by the boys, aged between 10 and 12.

He was given a six-month suspended sentence and a 12-month driving ban after admitting dangerous driving at Durham Crown Court.

'Suspicion and innuendo'

The Department for Education increased his punishment to a lifetime teaching ban in Mr Gove's name, concluding that while Mr Walker was provoked, his actions were "violent and threatening".

The former teacher at Houghton Kepier Sports College, in Houghton-le-Spring, said he had "held his hands up" to the council but claimed the lifetime ban was "totally disproportionate".

The father of two took Mr Gove to court, claiming the decision was "prejudiced" because of his politics.

Judge Heaton ruled there was "no evidence" that Mr Gove had intervened in the case and he did not find that the life ban was unfair.

He concluded: "I reject [Mr Walker's] argument as lacking any credible evidential base at all."

The judge ruled Mr Walker to pay the respondent's legal costs.

Mr Gove has cited the case as an example of why members of the BNP should be banned from teaching, but no legislation has come into effect.

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