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Manchester councillor: Street preachers shouldn't talk about morality

Pat Karney, who oversees the city centre, wants to crack down on those who are seen as a 'nuisance' to shoppers. These also include noisy musicians and those who illegally sell items on the street.

Manchester City Council

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, he said: "Preachers do have a right to be out on the streets but I do not think it right if they are talking about morality.

"Some talk about race or sexual orientation and that is not proper at all.

"They also sometimes appear in large groups making lots of noise, or have very loud PA systems.

"They're perfectly entitled to talk about the Jesus and the word of God, but not to make anyone feel insecure or threatened."

His comments have been questioned by the Christian Institute. It has written a letter to Councillor Kearney asking him to clarify what he means. A spokesman said: "We are still no clearer about whether restrictions will be applied to street preachers in Manchester and remain concerned about potential police action.

"Councillor Karney has not provided any legal grounds for this crackdown, and runs the risk of legal action being taken if the free speech rights of street preachers are interfered with."

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