Crucifix nurse calls for new law
A Devon nurse who lost a landmark European legal battle has called on David Cameron to change a law preventing religious symbols being worn at work.
Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Shirley Chaplin was not allowed to wear a crucifix to work as it would breach health and safety laws, despite the fact she had worn it for 30 years.
Mrs Chaplin called on the Prime Minister to fulfil a promise to change the law on religious objects in the workplace, saying he should "actually do it".
She said: "It seems ridiculous to me – I wore it (the crucifix) on my confirmation when I was 16, I've been a nurse since 1978.
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"I've worn it without incident, I've nursed a very wide range of patients, I've been bitten, I've been scratched, I've had computers thrown at me, but no one has ever, ever grabbed my crucifix."
The Bishop of Exeter Reverend Michael Langrish said he was "disappointed" by the verdict, which also saw a British airways employee win her discrimination case for wearing a cross.
"The issue at stake is how to balance the issue of equality and diversity in the framework of law.
"The balance is currently against rights of conscience and rights of faith," he said.
But Abbie Barker of Equality South West said: "The ECHR has empowered employees to stand by their equality policies and antidiscrimination practices and shown those in care of the public sector that they will be treated equally."