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Spiritualist officer wins landmark ‘religion’ ruling
19 Nov 2009

A former Greater Manchester Police officer has won a landmark case which says his spiritualist beliefs should be counted as a religion.
Alan Power, 62, was sacked in October 2008 because, he claims, he believed psychics were able to contact people after their deaths and help inform investigations.
An employment tribunal has rejected an appeal from the police authority which says his beliefs do not amount to religious views.
A ruling on whether Mr Power was unfairly dismissed is scheduled for November 23.
Mr Power said his beliefs stem from “ghosts” he saw during his childhood.
At a previous hearing, a judge ruled that Mr Power’s views were “capable of being religious beliefs” and was therefore covered by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
Mark Hill QC, from the Greater Manchester Police Authority, said the ruling could open the “floodgates” for a series of similar claims.
According to the 2001 Census, spiritualism is the eighth largest faith group in Britain, with 32,000 people saying they belong to it.
Outside the tribunal, Mr Power said he was delighted with the judge’s decision.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It proves that spiritualism is a religion worthy of respect.
“I haven’t claimed any costs. I’m not claiming compensation. It’s about hurt feelings. I expect my religion to be respected.”


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