Campaign groups banned from Honiton Carnival

PUBLISHED: 16:31 22 October 2012 | UPDATED: 16:33 22 October 2012

The Purple Knights who have been told they cannot participate in Honiton and District Carnival because they represent a political campaign group.

The Purple Knights who have been told they cannot participate in Honiton and District Carnival because they represent a political campaign group.

Archant

New Fathers 4 Justice told Purple Knights entry cannot be in the procession.

Honiton and District Carnival is a family event and must not be used as a platform to promote political causes - that is the message the event’s organisers have for campaign groups after they were forced to tell New Fathers 4 Justice that they cannot take part in Saturday’s procession.

New Fathers 4 Justice had hoped to enter as Purple Knights with a Batmobile.

The news upset the would-be carnival participants.

Spokesman Pete Moore said: “Our supporters are not amused, especially as we have recently been accepted into Chard and Salisbury carnivals, and Wellington carnival last year, without any problem.

“Apparently we are too political, but I bet they have allowed people to dress as suffragettes in previous carnival processions.

“We are bitterly disappointed.”

Mr Moore said any appearance or prize money awarded to the Purple Knights would have been donated to charity.

Carnival secretary Karen Wilson said she had contacted other carnival committees in East Devon and that all were of the opinion that campaign groups should not be allowed to participate.

“We have turned down an entry from another campaign group in the past, so we are not targeting this particular group,” she said.

“Because the carnival is a family event, we do not have political groups taking part.”

New Fathers 4 Justice is campaigning for equal rights for fathers after family breakdown.

It wants a presumption of contact for fathers if the child is not at risk and the same punishment for mothers, who flout the law by breaking contact orders imposed by courts, as fathers face when they do not pay the Child Support Agency.

Honiton and District Carnival takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday.


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