Londoners back freedom of conscience and religion

A new Greater London Authority (GLA) poll showed on yesterday that 75 per cent of Londoners back the right to dress in line with religious beliefs.

The poll, which was undertaken by MORI on behalf of the GLA, found that 82 per cent of Londoners also believe that everybody in London should be free to live their lives how they like as long as they don’t stop other people doing the same, with 13 per cent disagreeing. It also showed extremely strong disagreement with the government being allowed to tell people how to lead their lives, with only 15 per cent agreeing and 76 per cent disagreeing.

The figures coincide with a public meeting tonight, organised by Liberty and the British Muslim Initiative, at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, in support of freedom of conscience, religion and thought. The meeting will include speakers from across the political spectrum and individuals representing different faiths and none.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said that the figures are consistent with previous polls and confirm that Londoners strongly support living in a city as diverse as London. “London is applying the principle that people should be able to live their lives as they choose, including the way they practise their religion, as long as it does not prevent others doing the same,” he said. “Such a strong support of liberal values is a core foundation of good community relations.”

Morning Star, 20 November 2006