Anthony Grayling, the President-elect of the BHA, has decided to step down from that position and not to take office as President on 1 July.
In doing so Professor Grayling said, ‘It was an honour to be named President of the British Humanist Association and I very much looked forward to working alongside the staff and trustees over the next two years to promote Humanism – a vitally important task in today’s world. Unfortunately, I believe that controversy generated by activities in another area of my public life will make it difficult in the next two years for me to be the sort of President that I would like to be for the BHA and all its members and supporters. In deciding to stand down and let the Trustees of the BHA appoint an alternative President, I wish them all the best in their important task.’
Robert Ashby, Chair of the Trustees of the BHA, has responded, ‘We thank Anthony Grayling for the concern he has shown for the BHA and its work and regret the circumstances that have led him to step down as our President-elect. His decades of work in the causes that humanists espouse – secularism in our public life, freedom and human rights at home and globally, science and reason in our struggle to know the universe and humanity in our treatment of ourselves and other people – remain of great value.’
Polly Toynbee, currently President of the BHA, will continue as President until a new President is appointed by the Trustees later this year.