BNP activist loses Gove challenge

Matthew Collins - 14 02 14

A teacher who is a British National Party activist has lost his legal
challenge against Michael Gove after he was struck off for life.

Adam Walker took the Education Secretary to court claiming the
decision which followed him receiving a suspended jail sentence for
verbally abusing three schoolboys, chasing them in his car and
slashing the tyres on their bikes with a Stanley knife, was
“prejudiced” because of his politics.

But following a hearing at the Administrative Court sitting in Leeds
last month, Judge Clive Heaton QC has handed down a ruling which
concluded: “I reject his argument as lacking any credible evidential
base at all.”

Mr Walker, 44, a married father of two from Durham, had argued the
National College for Teaching and Leadership – which replaced the
General Teaching Council – recommended that he should be banned from
the classroom for a minimum of two years.

But the punishment was increased to a life ban without review by a
senior official, in Mr Gove’s name, the next day. Mr Walker felt other
teachers guilty of serious crimes against children were less harshly

The former IT teacher, who qualified in 2000, appeared before a
conduct committee in 2010 after he labelled some immigrants “savage
animals” on an internet forum using a school laptop.

Mr Gove has used his case of an example of why members of the BNP
should be banned from teaching. But no legislation has come into

On St George’s Day 2011, Mr Walker got into his Land Rover and chased
three unruly boys over the village green in Tudhoe, County Durham,
slashed their bike tyres and used threatening behaviour. He later lied
to police about his involvement.

He received an 18-month suspended jail sentence in September 2012 and
was brought before a disciplinary panel at the NCTL last June.

The NCTL’s suggested two year ban was then increased to life by Mr
Gove’s senior official Alan Meyrick.

Rory Dunlop, for the Secretary of State, told the court hearing last
month: “Children look to teachers as their examples.

“When you have someone not just behaving extremely badly, endangering
children, but also failing to take responsibility for that behaviour
and lying about it, what kind of example does that set to children?”

He added: “It cannot fairly be said that the Secretary of State was
wrong to decide that the ultimate sanction was necessary for someone
who endangered lives then lied repeatedly about it.”

Judge Heaton ruled there was “no evidence” that Mr Gove had intervened
in the case, and in any case, he did not find that the life ban was

He concluded: “The appellant’s case that Mr Gove intervened personally
in his disciplinary process so to ensure that he was prohibited from
teaching for life is ultimately constructed upon nothing more than
suspicion and innuendo.

“I reject his argument as lacking any credible evidential base at all.”

The judge also ruled Mr Walker has to pay the respondent’s legal costs.

Mr Walker now works for two BNP MEPs.

Press Association


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate