Anaesthetist ‘slept in a chair’ as patient lay on operating table giving birth during major surgery

An anaesthetist slept in a chair as his patient lay on the operating table giving birth, a hearing was told. Dr Rajat Subhra Banerjee was seen with his eyes shut, arms folded, head on chest in an adjacent room, it is claimed.

A midwife said she had never seen an anaesthetist leave a patient in her 14 years working at Royal Bolton Hospital. Caroline Finch said: ‘I remember glancing into the anaesthetics room. He had his arms folded, chin on chest and legs outstretched. ‘The door was slightly opened and I could see right into it. From his appearance he looked like he was asleep to me.’

She went over to a colleague and said: ‘Just come and have a look and tell me what you think.’

Dr Banerjee had given the patient a spinal injection before a caesarean was carried out.

During the operation her blood pressure dropped and he was called back in to administer further drugs, but then immediately left.

Miss Finch added: ‘I felt that when I have got a lady on the treatment table he should be with that lady. ‘He should not ever leave that lady. He appeared to be asleep when we had a lady on the table having major surgery.’

Miss Finch observed Banerjee in the position on three occasions over a period of around ten minutes, the panel heard.

She added: ‘In all my time of being a midwife I have never known an anaesthetist leave a lady on the treatment table for the amount of time Dr Banerjee did.’

The incident is said to have occurred on the May 22, 2009 and the doctor is also charged with falling asleep after administering an anaesthetic on May 16, 2009.

Consultant anaesthetist Wyn Price claimed Banerjee had told him he was ‘unwell’ on one of the occasions when he apparently drifted off. ‘He mentioned not being that well during the day,’ said Mr Price.

On another occasion Banerjee failed to administer enough anaesthetic, risking the patient waking up during an operation.

‘He was not as deeply anaesthetised as appropriate,’ said Mr Price. ‘In this case it was a short period, not enough for the patient to wake up, but it could have gone further if not highlighted.’

Dr Banerjee also claimed to have taken study leave to attend medical courses which he did not go to in 2006.

He faces a number of other misconduct charges at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester.


Farce of the new £545m NHS hospital which is too SMALL: Flagship unit forced to re-open old wards at the site it replaced

A new £545 million hospital built under the controversial PFI scheme has run out of beds, forcing bosses to re-open wards on the the hospital it replaced.

Unprecedented demand on A&E admissions at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham means two wards will be brought back into action at the neighbouring old Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which was built in the 1930s and closed in 2010.

The building had stood empty before the overcrowding crisis hit and was not expected to receive patients again.

The move is highly embarrassing given that the new state-of-the-art hospital is the second biggest Hospital PFI in the Midlands, and the second biggest in the NHS.

PFI schemes were a key part of the Labour government’s modernisation programme for hospitals. Under the schemes, private firms paid for the building of new hospitals, with trusts repaying them over 30 or more years, with interest. But due to the nature of the deals, the ultimate total cost is often far more than the value of the assets.

Taxpayers have been left with a crippling £60billion repayment bill for hospitals built under the private finance initiative – leaving many trusts facing major financial difficulties.

Trusts also agreed to pay firms for maintenance of the properties, meaning the firms can charge exorbitant sums as there can be no competition. Previous examples include hospitals having to shell out £242 just to change a padlock and £13,704 to install three lights.

But NHS bosses in Birmingham have been forced to act after elective surgery for routine operations had to be cancelled because of the capacity problems.

The move comes despite the fact the trust has already laid on 117 additional beds over the winter period.

Birmingham’s biggest hospital opened on June 10 with 1,213 beds, replacing two outdated buildings, including the old Queen Elizabeth.

The finance behind the project came from Consort Healthcare Ltd, which is part of the construction firm Balfour Beatty, a key player in PFI schemes. The contract lasts for 40 years from the date of financial close – when all legal matters were agreed – which was in June 2006.

The new hospital, in Edgbaston, may also be a victim of its own success, as patients from the region travel to the widely-praised facility in preference to local clinics.

Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital, said it needed to reopen the old wards ‘to meet the unprecedented demand on services across the region and, in particular, on the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital’.

She said the Midlands region had seen a 10 per cent increase in admissions to accident and emergency departments.

Dame Julie said the trust was ‘proactively responding to a steep rise in the number of GP referrals, self-presenting patients and emergency admissions’.

Speaking on BBC Radio West Midlands, she said: ‘We’ve seen the biggest number of patients coming in since we’ve been keeping records. ‘We’ve got an ageing population, people with chronic disease, people are living longer and we’ve had the winter period.

‘We’re seeing far, far more patients than we did have. Clearly we built the new hospital because the old hospitals didn’t meet the standards of the 21st century.

‘What we’re not doing is looking after patients in corridors, but this way they’re in a proper ward environment.’

She said the refitted wards would meet ‘the highest’ infection-control standards.

The new Queen Elizabeth Hospital was Birmingham’s first new acute hospital for 70 years when it began receiving patients in 2010.

Labour launched its 2010 General Election manifesto at the new site, which was officially named by the Queen when she visited Birmingham during her 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The parts of the old hospital that will be re-opened will be next to the new buildings.

So far 52 beds have been opened in the most modern part of the old hospital building. But two wards of 36 beds each will this week be opened in the older part of the building, which was built between built between 1933 and 1934.

When the new building first opened, the hospital’s accident and emergency department would receive around 30 or 40 patients on a typical Saturday. In recent weeks, that figure has reached 120.

Other methods of dealing with increased patient numbers, including commissioning treatment from the private sector, have already been tried.

And the Trust has also suspended its policy of keeping a single ward in the new hospital empty at any given moment, for refurbishment and cleaning.

The aim was to ensure that every ward was redecorated and deep cleaned on a regular basis, to reduce the rate of hospital acquired infections. But could only be done while the ward was empty of patients, and the hospital is now being forced to keep all its wards open permanently, creating an extra 36 beds.

The trust has now reluctantly taken the decision to re-open two wards, one for men and one for women, in part of the old hospital known as West Block.

The spokesman insisted there was no cause for concern about hygiene or patient safety.

‘The Trust’s stringent policies on infection prevention and control are implemented across the entire hospital site by staff who are trained to uphold standards that have the patient’s safety and hygiene at the centre of everything we do. The two wards being opened will be configured and equipped to ensure the highest level of hygiene.’


Doctor who groped trainee surgeon while telling her ‘that’s what juniors are for’ during private anatomy session is struck off

‘Totally inappropriate’: Dr Humayan Iqbal is accused of molesting two junior colleagues at a hospital in Newcastle

A senior hospital doctor who groped a trainee surgeon telling her: ‘well that’s what juniors are for isn’t it?’ was struck off the medical register in disgrace.

Dr Humayun Iqbal, 40, had been conducting a private anatomy lesson when he forced himself upon the woman and attempted to kiss her whilst trying to put his right arm down the inside of her blouse.

When the junior colleague protested and told him to get off, Iqbal replied: ‘I have to practice for my wife’ and later added: ‘’At the end of your rotation you will be begging for it,’’ it was said.

Later after she moved hospitals Iqbal sent the junior surgeon a text saying: ‘A good boss is like a bra – always supportive and never lets you down, a bad boss is like pampers – always stuck to your arse.’’

The woman known as Dr B was one of two junior female colleagues molested by Iqbal at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he was registrar.

The other woman known as Miss A was said to have been ‘confused and distressed’ by Iqbal groping her breast and fielded an entry in her diary saying: ‘awful day. Iqbal.’

At the General Medical Council in Manchester Iqbal of Ponteland, Newcastle denied wrongdoing but was found guilty of misconduct charges by a fitness to practise panel.

Chairman Dr Anthony Morgan told him: ‘Whilst the extent of the physical assault was limited, it occurred on each occasion, during a teaching situation with a junior colleague that you both engineered and exploited.

‘It was a serious breach of trust, the victim on each occasion being new to the department and considerably junior to you.

‘The Panel took full account of your potential talent as a surgeon and it also considered the question of potentially depriving the public of a valuable doctor.

‘However in the light of the serious nature and extent of these transgressions, your conduct is fundamentally incompatible with continued medical registration.’

The incident involving Dr B occurred in December 2009 in an empty coffee room after she was invited Dr Iqbal for ‘’further teaching.’

Mr Peter Atherton counsel for the GMC said: ‘He asked Dr B about anatomy and when she answered correctly he put his arms around her as if to give her an encouraging hug. It was a small room nobody else was present.

‘He took it upon himself to suddenly and tightly embrace her, forcing his mouth onto hers forcing his tongue into her mouth. While doing that attempting to put his right arm down the inside of her blouse.

‘Following that incident her reaction was to object and repute him for what had happened but he started to say totally inappropriate things such as “I have to practice for my wife” and “well that’s what juniors are for isn’t it.”

‘He also invited her to attend a course with him in Canada. When she made it clear his advances were not welcome he said ‘’at the end of your rotation you will be begging for it’.

‘At the end of the shift, she had had an induction meeting and when he saw her emerging from the meeting, he was clearly concerned as to whether she had made any complaints about him, she hadn’t at that early stage.’

Dr B moved on from her surgical training and transferred to another hospital in the North East where she had a much happier experience but in May 2010 she suddenly received the offensive text from Iqbal on her mobile. Dr B is said to be still suffering from shock.

The second victim known as Miss A was a nurse practitioner who had just started training at the same hospital. Iqbal was said to have lured her to a lecture theatre in November 2009 under the pre-text of ‘demonstrating relevant anatomy’’ only to cup her breast in his hand.

Miss A told the hearing: ‘He was drawing pictures of lungs and different incisions, he touched me on the back first, below my right shoulder blade and moved his hand right around towards the front.

‘He moved his hand from the back to the front, my right breast. I was just a bit shocked. I don’t know, he could have drawn it on the diagram. I just moved away and I sat back.

‘I just felt very uncomfortable because he touched me. He carried on with the drawings and continued talking about the lungs.

‘My heart was racing. I felt like a lump of jelly. I knew I had gone bright red, blushing and he asked me if I had allergies. I knew my face was bright red, he touched my left cheek and I said ‘no’. He was sitting next to me, I didn’t get up, he just continued teaching. I had concerns but I didn’t know how to get out of the situation. I didn’t know what to say to be able to get away.’

‘I thought when he touched my face, momentarily I thought ‘is he going to kiss me?

‘I said I needed to go and pick my kids up I thought that was a good excuse because I don’t have any children. The whole time I was trying to think of something I could say to get away. I couldn’t organise myself to think of something to say.’

‘I had just started working there and I didn’t want to cause any trouble I just wanted to get on with my him. I didn’t have any more teaching and I only saw him on the ward rounds, he made me a bit more nervous.’

Iqbal was reported after Miss A attended an interview with a consultant the following February and confessed her spell at the hospital had been ‘unhappy’ because of her experience with Iqbal.
In a subsequent trust disciplinary proceedings relating to both women, Iqbal claimed Dr B had made ‘profoundly racist’ comments towards him.

He claimed he had only taken her to the coffee room to tackle her over a complaint made about her work. His allegations are firmly denied by Dr B.


Delia Smith? She was one of Henry VIII’s wives! The shockingly inept answers to history questions given by British secondary school pupils

Clueless teenagers believe Delia Smith, Jerry Hall and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall were among Henry VIII’s wives, new research has revealed.

The shocking lack of knowledge emerged in a study carried out among 2,000 11 to 16 year olds, which also found many are unaware of the Gunpowder Plot or which countries were involved in WWII.

Other clangers included thinking TV builder Nick Knowles built the pyramids and William Shakespeare was the chairman of the BBC.
Henry VIII’s wife? Teenagers thought Delia Smith was a wife of the historic monarch

The survey by hotel chain Premier Inn also found one in ten thought Arsenal’s Emirates stadium was built before the likes of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.

A spokesman for Premier Inn said: ‘We are a bit surprised by the fact youngsters don’t know their Shakespeare from Sir Alan or where many of the major historical events took place in the UK.

‘However it’s something that can be rectified by visiting all the fantastic landmarks and places of interest the UK has to offer.

‘A third of the school kids questioned said they love learning about history in school and with so much culture on our doorstep it’s important to get kids out and about to experience things first hand.

‘It’s not surprising with families under financial pressure that days out and trips away may have suffered.’

The study showed some teenagers thought Anne Frank was an American chat show host, while others and identified the plague, which killed tens of thousands of people in 1665, as a heavy metal band.

When asked to explain who Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was, teenagers polled gave answers including the founder of the Body Shop, an X factor finalist and the owner of high street fashion chain Miss Selfridge.

The poll also touched on aspects of geography and teenagers didn’t fare any better – a third did not know that the city of London was in the South-East.

And a quarter didn’t realise Arsenal was a London football club.

Fortunately 91 per cent were aware that last year’s Olympics were held in the capital, although a confused one in twenty thought Paris were the hosts.

A spokesman for Premier Inn said: ‘The research found that more than half of British school kids have never visited UK landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral.’


One excerpt from “The Age of Global Warming: A History”

Mrs Thatcher was initially a Warmist but later repudiated it

Unlike the blanket TV coverage NASA climate scientist James Hansen generated at his 1988 appearance before Congress, there were no cameras when British prime minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the Royal Society on 27th September 1988. Told that the prime minister’s speech was going to be on climate change, the BBC decided it wouldn’t make the TV news.

The speech had been a long time in the making. Flying back from visiting French president François Mitterrand in Paris in May 1984, Thatcher asked her officials if any of them had any new policy ideas for the forthcoming Group of Seven (G7) summit in London. Sir Crispin Tickell, then a deputy-undersecretary at the Foreign Office, suggested climate change and how it might figure in the G7 agenda. The next day, Tickell was summoned to Number 10 to brief the prime minister. The eventual result was to make environmental problems a specific item, and a statement in the London G7 communiqué duly referred to the international dimension of environmental problems and the role of environmental factors, including climate change. Environment ministers were instructed to report back to the G7 meeting at Bonn the following year, and duly did so.

Tickell’s interest in climate change dated from the mid 1970s. Influenced by reading Hubert Lamb’s book Climate History and the Modern World, Tickell took the opportunity of a one-year fellowship at Harvard to study the relationship between climate change and world affairs and wrote a book on the subject in 1977. By 1987, Tickell had been appointed Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations and informally was acting as Thatcher’s envoy on global warming, his position at the UN making him privy to gossip from other nations.

On two occasions, Thatcher recalled him from New York to brief her.

Tickell was always struck by her determined approach; in the world of politics, Thatcher was a woman in a man’s world and someone with scientific training in a non-scientific world. To meet the test, you had to know what you were talking about; if she challenged you, you needed to be sure of your ground; she could be remarkably vigorous, Tickell found. The prime minister wanted the government to grasp the importance of global warming.

Ministers were called to Number 10 for briefings by climate scientists. “You are to listen, not to speak,” the prime minister told them. Returning to England for his summer holiday in 1988, Tickell called on Thatcher and suggested she make a major speech on global warming. She thought the Royal Society would be the perfect forum for it. She spent two weekends working on the draft with George Guise, one of her policy advisors.

In the speech, Thatcher addressed the society as a scientist and a fellow who happened to be prime minister. Environment policy was her main subject. Action to cut power station emissions and reduce acid rain was being undertaken “at great and necessary expense,” she said, building up to her main theme. “The health of the economy and the health of the environment are totally dependent on each other,” implicitly rejecting the view of conventional economics of there being a trade-off between resources used for environmental protection which couldn’t be used to raise output or increase consumption. It was also clear that the G7’s endorsement of sustainable development had not been an oversight or meant to be taken lightly, as far as she was concerned. “The government espouses the concept of sustainable economic development,” she stated, although the new policy had not been discussed collectively by ministers beforehand or with Nigel Lawson, the chancellor of the exchequer.

Thatcher concluded her speech by referring to one of the most famous events in the Royal Society’s history, when in 1919 Arthur Eddington displayed the photographic plates taken during the total eclipse of the Sun earlier that year. The eclipse enabled Eddington to record whether light from distant stars was bent by the sun’s gravity and verify a prediction of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Cambridge philosopher Alfred Whitehead witnessed Eddington’s demonstration. The scene, tense as a Greek drama, he wrote, was played out beneath the portrait of Isaac Newton, the society’s 12th president, “to remind us that the greatest of scientific generalizations was now, after more than two centuries, to receive its first modification.” In Vienna, reports of it thrilled the 17-year-old Karl Popper. What particularly impressed Popper was the risk implied by Einstein’s theory, that light from distant stars would be deflected by the Sun’s mass, because it could be subjected to a definitive test: “If observation shows that the predicted effect is definitely absent, then the theory is simply refuted. The theory is incompatible with certain possible results of observation — in fact with results which everybody before Einstein would have expected.” These considerations led Popper to argue that the criterion for assessing the scientific status of a theory should be its capacity to generate predictions that could, in principle, be refuted by empirical evidence, what Popper called its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.

Every “good” scientific theory is a prohibition. The more a theory forbids, the better it is. Scientists should therefore devise tests designed to yield evidence that the theory prohibits, rather than search for what the theory confirms. If we look for them, Popper argued, it is easy to find confirmations for nearly every theory. “Only a theory which asserts or implies that certain conceivable events will not, in fact, happen is testable,” Popper explained in a lecture in 1963. “The test consists in trying to bring about, with all the means we can muster, precisely these events which the theory tells us cannot occur.”

In 1988, proponents of global warming did not provide a similar black and white predictive test of the key proposition of global warming: the degree of warming with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is therefore incapable of being falsified. The issue is not the capacity of carbon dioxide to absorb radiation in a test tube, which had first been demonstrated by John Tyndall in 1859, but the effect of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases on the temperature of the atmosphere. An answer can only be derived from empirical observation.

Scientists Roger Revelle and Hans Suess’s characterization of mankind carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment, further illustrates global warming’s weakness as a scientific statement and its strength as a political idea. While prejudging the results of an experiment constitutes bad science, the proposition simultaneously generates powerful calls to halt the experiment before it is concluded. Yet questioning the science would inevitably be seen as weakening the political will to act. It created a symbiotic dependence between science and politics that marks 1988 as a turning point in the history of science and the start of a new chapter in the affairs of mankind.

Two years later, Mrs. Thatcher would address the UN: “We must have continued economic growth in order to generate the wealth required to pay for the protection of the environment,” she told the General Assembly, “But it must be growth which does not plunder the planet today and leave our children to deal with the consequences tomorrow.”

In the past growth happened. Now it had to be the right sort.

British Liberal leader swipes Tory ideas to talk tough on migration: Deputy PM will use speech to talk of a ‘tolerant Britain’

An attempt by Nick Clegg to toughen his position on immigration ran into trouble last night as he was accused of stealing Conservative ideas and Vince Cable ridiculed the idea of cutting the number of incomers to the tens of thousands.

The Deputy Prime Minister will today use his first speech on immigration since the general election in 2010 to set out a vision of a ‘tolerant Britain, zero-tolerant of abuse’.

He will insist that if immigrant workers suddenly ‘downed tools, countless businesses and services would suffer’ and the NHS ‘would fall over’ – but insist borders were ‘grossly mismanaged’ under Labour.

Mr Clegg will say that cash penalties for unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper are to be increased. Currently, the maximum fine is £10,000 per illegal worker.

He will also claim that he has ‘asked the Home Secretary’ to examine the idea of forcing incomers to put up a cash bond if they want to come to Britain.

They will be required to pay the money as part of a guarantee that they will not be a burden on the taxpayer and will leave the country when their visa expires.

The Daily Mail revealed in March that Home Secretary Theresa May was planning immigration bonds as the next stage of reform, having succeeded in cutting net migration to its lowest level for a decade.

The cash would only be repaid when people leave the country and demonstrate that they have not drawn on particular services, such as non-urgent NHS care or elements of the welfare state.

Mrs May plans to announce a pilot scheme targeted at ‘high risk’ individuals from ‘two or three nationalities’ starting later this year. They or family members already in the UK would be required to put up a sum running into thousands of pounds as security that they will abide by the rules.

Prime Minister David Cameron also floated the idea of immigration bonds and Theresa May plans to announce a pilot scheme targeted at ‘high risk’ individuals

The 1999 Immigration & Asylum Act allows the UK to require a financial security from temporary migrants, which can be forfeited if they fail to leave the UK after the expiry of their visa.

Prime Minister David Cameron also floated the idea of immigration bonds last year. One Tory source said Mr Clegg appeared to be ‘purloining Conservative ideas’ in an attempt to shift perceptions of his party’s position on a key issue.

In another blow, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable gave an interview pouring scorn on the Conservative aim of reducing net immigration from the hundreds to the tens of thousands.

‘It isn’t Government policy, it is Conservative policy. And it’s also not true because that policy purely relates to non-EU people. We have obviously no control over the European Union and that is actually where much of the movement comes,’ Mr Cable told The House magazine.

‘The reducing to under 100,000 is not Government policy and it would be unattainable without, if it was attainable enormous damage would be done, notably through overseas students, which is one of the biggest components.’

The Business Secretary said attempts to tighten the visa system had created the impression, particularly in India, that ‘Britain is closed’.

Mr Clegg praised the diversity of the country’s population and says that Britain is made up of rich and varied backgrounds

‘We want overseas students, they are good for us, they are not bad for us. They bring in lots of money. We want to have lots of visitors from all over the world coming here without hassle, an easy flexible visa system and we have lots of highly specialised people in engineers, top managers who we need in our companies and they’ve got to be able to come and go freely otherwise we are not going to be able to compete internationally,’ Mr Cable added.

‘So I do have to keep banging the drum for that.’

Mr Clegg will insist today that the Lib Dems ‘will never seek to outflank our opponents’ on immigration ‘because we think that’s what people want to hear’.

‘That kind of low populism patronises the British people. And it is an insult to the many migrants who have contributed to our country,’ he will say.

‘British society has been shaped by migrant communities in ways more profound than any cliché about chicken tikka masala, or Notting Hill Carnival, or Polish builders can ever express. I’m the son of a Dutch mother – she, herself, raised in Indonesia; a half-Russian father; husband to a Spanish wife. Like millions of Brits, if you trace our blood lines back through the generations, you end up travelling around the globe.’ But he will savage Labour for leaving an immigration system in ‘disarray’.

‘I cannot stress enough just how chaotic it was. The first thing they did, after coming into office, was stop checking if people were leaving the country. They got rid of exit checks. They weren’t counting people in and they weren’t counting people out either,’ the Deputy Prime Minister will add.

‘Since we came into government, net migration has fallen by a third. We’ve capped immigration from outside Europe. And within the EU, we have kept the transitional limits on Romania and Bulgaria, until the point where every member state has to remove them.

‘One idea which appeals to me is a system of security bonds. And so I’ve asked the Home Office to do some work on it, with a view to running a pilot before the end of the year.

‘The basic premise is simple: in certain cases, when a visa applicant is coming from a high risk country, in addition to satisfying the normal criteria, UKBA would be able to request a deposit – a kind of cash guarantee. Once the visitor leaves Britain, the bond will be repaid.’

A Home Office source said: ‘We look forward to support for all our immigration policies and getting down to the tens of thousands.’


Christian B&B which broke equality laws by refusing to let gay couple share room can now legally turn away homosexuals after becoming non-profit organisation

A Christian couple who were sued after refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room at their seaside guesthouse will be legally allowed to turn away unmarried couples after becoming an non-profit organisation.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull found themselves at the centre of an international furore after telling civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy that they could not share a room at the Chymorvah Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall, on account of their religious beliefs.

But now they will be able to turn away unmarried gay and straight couples from the Bed & Breakfast, which doubles up as their home, after becoming a not-for-profit organisation.

Mr and Mrs Bull were forced to pay £3,600 to the couple in a landmark case in 2011 after they were found to have discriminated against them on the grounds of sexual orientation under Equality Act regulations.

The couple insisted that their policy of not allowing unmarried couples to share a bed extended to heterosexual couples as well as homosexual pairs.

But the courts disagreed.

The hotel is now to be turned into a respite care centre for Christians and anyone staying under their roof will now have to abide by the Bull’s rules as long as they are set out in the company’s articles.

The Bulls have since taken their case to the Court of Appeal, where it was dismissed and have now had permission to have it heard in the country’s highest court, the Supreme Court.

Mrs Bull, 69, said the incident had changed their lives. She said: ‘We have been through the mill since 2008. It has stepped up since the trial.

‘In 2010, when the trial happened it was given a lot of press attention because it was a precedent and also dealt with quite a touchy subject. Most people have quite strong feelings one way or another.

‘We are not fanatics. We have often been portrayed as being bigoted.

‘I am not homophobic. I have no problem with them – I have always thought of them as people and enjoy their company. It is just that we thought it would be wrong for here. It had nothing to do with homophobia.

‘All the way through we have always said no unmarried couples; it just happens that homosexuals fit into that category … it is a terribly difficult subject.’

The Chymorvah has been struggling to attract guests since the Equalities Act was brought in 2007, meaning they are no longer able to be rated by Visit England because of their policies and therefore are unable to advertise in many of the guides that used to bring in the majority of their customers.

Mrs Bull says that the recession has added to financial difficulties and she has hope for the future.

She added: ‘We have come through two and a half years now and we are coming into a new chapter in that we are revamping this place and relaunching it.’

Not only have visitor numbers declined, but Mrs Bull says that the couple have had death threats and sufferered vandalism.

But she said that messages of support have far outweighed any negative correspondence since their day in court. She said: ‘All we wanted was to be able to support marriage, to say no here.

‘This (the result of the trial) is the men’s human rights and they come into a collision with our human rights.

‘Nobody ever thought it through when this legislation was first brought in. ‘Can’t somebody work out a formula that keeps them happy and us?’

To try to encourage more people to stay, the Bulls are trying to innovate. The first event they have planned is an educational supper on the Jewish festival of Passover for Christians next Friday.

They will also be offering branch line breaks from June, where visitors will be offered guided tours of the five branch lines in Cornwall.

Mrs Bull said she hoped it would attract rail enthusiasts.

As for the legal battle, the Bulls won permission in August to take their case to the Supreme Court and their case is set to be heard on October 9 and 10.


David Cameron: I will oppose ‘aggressive secularisation’ of British society

David Cameron has promised to stand up against the “aggressive secularisation” of British society.

The Prime Minister promised Christians that the Government “cares about faith” despite clashes with religious groups over gay marriage and welfare cuts.

At an Easter reception in Downing Street, Mr Cameron pledged the Coalition is committed to Britain’s links with the Church of England.

“It does care about the institutions of faith and it does want to stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation that can sometimes happen in our society,” he said.

“Wherever we go, we stand up for the right of Christians to practise their faith.”

He praised Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, for handing out bibles to state schools and said the right to say prayers before council meetings will be protected.

“We’ve sent out a very clear message to aggressive secularists,” he said. “We changed the law so that people can go on saying prayers before council meetings. Michael Gove made the very brave decision, I thought, and right decision to give every state school a copy of the King James Bible. Some people said, ‘What a waste of money;’ I say no, I think it was a great use of money. This book is one of the things that made our country what it is today in terms of its messages and its brilliant language.”

Mr Cameron said it had been “a great week for Christians” on the eve of the enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

He is today attending the event at Canterbury Cathedral, despite sending two Cabinet ministers to the Pope’s inauguration this week.

The Prime Minister has this year been criticised by the Church of England over plans to introduce gay marriage. The new laws were eventually accepted after the Coalition promised several safeguards to ensure the Church will not have to conduct same-sex ceremonies.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury has also joined other bishops expressing concerns about the level of cuts to welfare spending.

At the reception, Mr Cameron revealed he had been to church the previous Sunday. He also joked about the new Archbishop of Canterbury saying he was once told he would be a terrible candidate to be a minister.

“At one stage in the Conservative Party leadership contest, George Osborne told me to call it all off, it wasn’t going anywhere,” Cameron said. “So I now have an affinity with the Archbishop.”



About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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