A Kent magistrate has been struck off after making controversial comments about same-sex couples adopting.

Richard Page, 69, from Headcorn, had sat on the family court bench of central Kent, covering Maidstone and Sevenoaks, for 15 years prior to being dismissed.

Last year he was reprimanded and sent on an equality course because said he believed it was “natural and in the interests of a child to be brought up by a mother and father”.

Since then, Mr Page, who also works as an NHS manager in mental health services, featured in a BBC Breakfast story where he reiterated his earlier thoughts and added that it “would be better for a man and a woman” to be the adoptive parents.

In a statement about his comments, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said Mr Page had been removed from office on March 9.

A spokesman said: “The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice found Mr Page’s comments would have caused a reasonable person to conclude he was biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters and they considered this to be serious misconduct which brought the magistracy into disrepute.

“They have therefore removed Mr Page from the magistracy.”

Mr Page took the news to slam the government’s “social experimentation” same-sex adoption policy and said he had made thousands of judgements on the evidence alone.

“As a magistrate I have to act on the evidence before me and quite simply I believe that there is not sufficient evidence to convince me placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple can be as holistically beneficial to a child as placing them with a mum and dad as God and nature intended,” he said.

Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The Lord Chancellor has removed Richard from the magistracy for allegedly being ‘prejudiced’ and for speaking out in the media about what has happened to him.

“This unmasks the face of the new political orthodoxy; it is unkind. It tries to silence opposing views and if it fails it crushes and punishes the person who holds those views.

“To remove someone like Richard from the bench is modern day madness. He has a lifetime of public service, expertise in mental health.

“He is motivated by his Christian faith and a deep compassion for people.”

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