BA crucifix employee loses appeal

By Ian Dunt

The British Airways (BA) employee suspended for refusing to remove a small crucifix has lost her appeal against the company.

The court of appeal upheld the employment appeal tribunal’s judgement from 2008 which found that the ban against Nadia Eweida was not discriminatory because Christians do not generally wear the cross as a requirement of their religion.

The airline later amended its policy to allow for religious symbols after a furious media backlash, but it is refusing to pay Ms Eweida for the three months she was suspended from work or to admit the original rule was illegal.

“This is a disappointing judgment that will do little to build public confidence in equality laws protecting everyone,” said Corinna Ferguson, Liberty’s legal officer representing Ms Eweida.

“But this is just the sort of case that a supreme court is for and we have every hope that the highest court in the land will put Britain’s long tradition of religious tolerance into modern legal practice.”

Vince Cable, Ms Eweida’s MP, said: “We fight on and we fight on to the supreme court over this important issue of principle and freedom of expression.”

Mr Cable is not the first high profile figure to back Ms Eweida’s campaign. Tony Blair, Anne Widdecombe, Jack Straw and Ken Livingstone have also expressed support.