Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Gay pair's shock at Griffin tweets

Michael Black and John Morgan, from Cambridgeshire, were allegedly targeted on Twitter by BNP leader Nick Griffin (Family handout/PA)
Michael Black and John Morgan, from Cambridgeshire, were allegedly targeted on Twitter by BNP leader Nick Griffin (Family handout/PA)
BNP leader and North West MEP Nick Griffin's Twitter account has been suspended

A gay couple who were allegedly targeted on Twitter by BNP leader Nick Griffin after winning a landmark equality ruling have said they were shocked by his comments.

Police are now watching the home of Michael Black and John Morgan in Brampton, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, after the MEP allegedly published their address on the social networking site and called for a demonstration to be held outside.

The alleged tweets, under the username @nickgriffinmep, followed Mr Black and his 59-year-old partner's win against the owner of bed and breakfast accommodation who refused to let them stay in a double room because of her religious views.

One of the complained tweets read: "So Messrs Black & Morgan, at (their address). A British Justice team will come up to Huntington & give you a..." "...bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple's home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!"

Twitter users trying to access Mr Griffin's account were subsequently told it had been suspended. The couple have hit back with Mr Black, 64, an exams consultant and writer, calling the politician an "idiot".

He told BBC Breakfast: "I think Nick Griffin has got very little support in the country. Certainly the public response to the incident, when it happened two and a half years ago, and again in the last 24 hours, has been overwhelmingly in support of our stand against discrimination so hopefully that will mean the vast majority of the people in the country will just see what an idiot Nick Griffin is and reject his views."

The couple sought damages from Susanne Wilkinson after she refused them the room at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire, in March 2010 despite them having made a reservation and paid a deposit. A court found Mr Black and Mr Morgan, a computer consultant, were discriminated against and awarded them each £1,800 which the men said would be donated to charity.

Mr Black spoke of his reaction to the tweets, saying: "We were shocked to hear about it and the more we read about it the more incoherent they seemed. So we don't really know what Nick Griffin is getting at."

Reacting to the alleged encouragement of people to protest outside their home, Mr Morgan said they had not been there "but the local police are keeping their eye on the property".

Mrs Wilkinson, a married mother of four, considered that providing a double bed to the couple, who are not in a civil partnership, would involve her in promoting what she believed to be a sin, namely sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage, the court heard.

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