Statement - decision by Islington Council not to allow Gilad Atzmon to perform with The Blockheads at Islington Assembly Hall

On 3 December 2018, Islington Council received a complaint from a member of the Jewish Community relating to Gilad Atzmon’s proposed appearance as a member of the band “The Blockheads” at the Council-owned Islington Assembly Hall on 21 December 2018. A decision was taken by the Council not to allow Mr Atzmon to perform there. Following a complaint and the threat of legal proceedings by Mr Atzmon’s solicitors, the Council decided to revisit that decision completely afresh. On 13 December 2018, the Council decided (for a second time) that it would not allow Mr Atzmon to perform at the Hall. Mr Atzmon appealed that decision on 14 December 2018. The Council considered that appeal and gave its appeal decision on 17 December 2018 upholding the decision that he should not be allowed to perform. The performance by The Blockheads will proceed without Mr Atzmon.

Detailed reasons for the Council’s decisions have been provided to Mr Atzmon and his solicitors. In summary, under the Equality Act 2010, the Council must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to foster good relations between different races and religions within the borough. The Council took account of the fact that Mr Atzmon’s presence at the Hall, and knowledge of his presence among residents of the borough, might harm such relationships, as well as the Council’s duty to tackle prejudice and promote understanding within the borough.

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