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Ockendon councillor helps lift veil ban
12:43pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
AN Ockendon councillor has battled back against a college ban on facial veils after the measures were lifted following his 9,000 signature petition.
Aaron Kiely, a Labour councillor at Thurrock Council, has been part of a team of protestors looking to overturn the eight year rule at Birmingham Metropolitan College in his role as black students’ officer for the National Union of Students.
Cllr Kiely was part of a planned mass demonstration following a anonymous tudent complaint that she was being discriminated against. This led to accusations of racism against the college and accusations that it would ban prayer on site.
However, the college changed the laws before the protest, rumoured to be 800 strong, took place.
Cllr Kiely said: “We can’t be complacent though as Prime Minister David Cameron signalled that he supported the college’s decision to ban students from wearing veils.
“That is why we must always be ready to unite together to defend our fundamental human rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and cultural expression.”
The college has now ‘modified’ the ruling against veils, hoodies and hats which ensured students were ‘easily identifiable.’ The often outspoken Cllr Kiely was forced to apologise for defending the 2009 London rioters and has suggested the police are institutionally racist.
Cllr Kiely earns £20,000 a year in this role as well as an £8,000 allowance as a local councillor. He has been heavily criticised by opposition councillors for his poor attendance at council meetings and his lack of profile within Ockendon.
Prime Minister David Cameron is in support of headteachers and had backed the colleges enforcement laws.
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