An anti-abortion group was kicked out of a country fair amid claims its stand was offensive to women.
Campaigners from pro-life charity Life were ordered to leave the Lambeth Country Show in Brixton on Sunday morning after attendees complained over its stall, which featured plastic models of foetuses at various stages of development.
Lambeth Labour councillor Ed Davie tweeted that the stall ‘wasn’t officially allowed’ and wasn’t ‘on the approved list of exhibitors’.
Life claimed it had been removed from the event because ‘there had been a few complaints that [we were] there and as a result had decided to remove us from the show’.
Campaigners from pro-life charity Life were ordered to leave the Lambeth Country Show in Brixton on Sunday morning after attendees complained over its stall, pictured
Visitors to the stall were encouraged to touch the foetal models at the display, pictured
A family take part in an interactive game with a member of the pro-life campaign group
The stall was erected ahead of the start of the free two-day event in Brockwell Park, which was attended by some 150,000 over the course of the weekend.
It featured a display of plastic foetuses at various stages of development alongside pro-life pregnancy advice.
The stall is understood to have been taken down overnight on Saturday following complaints from guests.
The statement on the Life website read: ‘On Saturday we had a successful day with many positive responses. However as the evening progressed, a few people became aggressively vocal about our stall and challenged us on our pro-life position.
‘Life absolutely respects everyone’s right to their own opinion and we ensure staff and volunteers are kind, compassionate and considerate at all times…
The charity tweeted this image after its stall was taken down overnight on Saturday
The stand featured several models of plastic foetuses at various stages of development
The charity claimed it received positive responses but that the attitude towards the stall changed later in the day
‘On arrival Sunday morning, we found our marquee and all of our possessions taken down and completely removed from Life’s pitch. A member of staff said we had to leave the site as soon as possible.’
The group said it was later told the decision had been taken by Lambeth Council and not by event organisers.
When asked about the decision to remove the stall, Mr Davie, a Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, tweeted: ‘It wasn’t officially allowed. They were not on the approved list of exhibitors, we tried to get them removed and will make sure they are not there today [Sunday].’
He added: ‘It’s a community festival – that includes women who have had to make really hard family planning decisions who don’t want plastic foetuses in their faces.’
Lambeth Labour councillor Ed Davie tweeted that the stall ‘wasn’t officially allowed’ and wasn’t ‘on the approved list of exhibitors’
A Lambeth Council spokesman said: ‘The stall in question was booked using unclear information. After the nature of the booking was revealed, and following complaints, the stall was prevented from opening on the second day of the Lambeth Country Show. The return of materials from the stall were arranged.’
Teacher Katie Stacey, 26, who attended the show, told the Evening Standard: ‘Lambeth council should have done their research into who this group were…
‘The country show is a family event where people should feel safe and not feel attacked for their right to choose a perfectly legal medical procedure.’
However other attendees argued freedom of expression meant the group should have been allowed to exhibit at the fair.
One using the Twitter handle @bannedfeminist posted: ‘I am passionately pro-choice and have had 2 abortions but I think @LifeCharity should have the right to a stall at Lambeth Show.
‘I’m not threatened or triggered by pro-life charities. Many women chose not to terminate unwanted pregnancies and seek help.’
Life added that it was seeking legal advice following the ‘authoritarian and discriminatory’ move.