Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Bias risk in BNP teacher tribunal

Adam Walker (courtesy of BNP)
Mr Walker was a technology teacher at the secondary school

An ex-president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is no longer to sit on a tribunal of a Wearside BNP member accused of religious intolerance.

Judy Moorhouse was due to sit on a three-member General Teaching Council (GTC) committee considering a charge of misconduct brought against Adam Walker.

Mr Walker, 39, a teacher from Houghton-le-Spring, argued her presence could bias the hearing against him.

The hearing, on Monday, at the GTC's offices in Birmingham, was adjourned.

Unacceptable conduct

In a five-page judgment, the GTC committee accepted that it would "inappropriate" for Ms Moorhouse, a member of the NUT's executive committee and the chair of the GTC, to continue to sit in Mr Walker's case.

Mr Walker is alleged to have engaged in unacceptable professional conduct while employed at Houghton Kepier Sport College in Houghton-le-Spring.

The allegation against him states that, between February and March 2007 he used a school laptop during lessons and contributed to on-line discussions in which he demonstrated views suggestive of racial and religious intolerance.

Police officers, some wearing riot gear, were on duty outside where dozens of BNP supporters and anti-fascist activists had gathered.

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