Week in Westminster, 18th-22nd September 2017

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are both currently in recess, but this week written answers were published to questions to Government from bishops on Burma, Sudan, gambling and debt relief. Parliament will return on 9th October.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 18th-22nd September 2017”

Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights, development aid and sanctions towards the military in Burma

Between 18th-21st September 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to four questions about Burma, on human rights violations, UK humanitarian aid and sanctions against the Burmese military:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what humanitarian assistance they are providing to help alleviate the emerging humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State in Burma.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the suspension of military assistance, including training, for the Burmese army.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the introduction of financial and travel sanctions against senior Burmese military officials following the Burmese military’s recent offensive in Rakhine State.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Burma to engage with existing United Nations Human Rights Council mechanisms and address reports of severe human rights violations in Rakhine State.

Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights, development aid and sanctions towards the military in Burma”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about regulation of online gambling

On 20th September 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to two questions about the regulation of online gambling:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to regulate the use of electronic data by betting firms and their affiliates to target online advertising at specific groups.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to incorporate a review of online gambling into the Triennial Review of Gaming Machine Stake and Prize Limits. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about regulation of online gambling”

Bishop of St Albans letter to Times on need for more affordable rural housing

On 20th September 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, was a signatory to a letter to The Times newspaper about affordable rural housing:

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Sir, A thriving countryside needs more good quality, genuinely affordable homes (“Country Unfair”, leading article, Sep 19). Only one in ten homes in rural areas is classed as affordable, compared with one in five in urban areas. The proportion of new affordable homes is shrinking, and rural areas face a significant shortfall over the next five years. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans letter to Times on need for more affordable rural housing”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of sanctions, human rights and church demolitions in Sudan

On 18th and 20th September 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to five questions about Sudan, on the humanitarian impact of sanctions, the demolition of churches and the human rights situation:

 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian impact of sanctions on the people of Sudan.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States regarding the suspension or refinement of sanctions on Sudan.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of sanctions on Sudan.

(iv)  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the human rights situation and current levels of humanitarian access in Sudan.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Sudan regarding the demolition of churches built on land that has since been designated for buildings other than places of worship.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of sanctions, human rights and church demolitions in Sudan”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about help for those in debt

On 18th September 2017 Lord Bates answered two written questions from the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, on credit card debt and the need for a statutory ‘breathing space’ scheme.

Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to introduce measures to prevent the automatic increase of credit card limits. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about help for those in debt”

Fortnight in Westminster, 4th – 15th September 2017

Welcome to our round up of activity in Parliament. The House of Commons and the House of Lords sat over the past two weeks, before rising again for the Party Conference recess.

During that time bishops spoke in debates on prison overcrowding, digital understanding, Brexit, and gambling. They supported bills on raising the age of criminal responsibility and on supporting the victims of modern slavery.

Bishops also asked questions about housing, children’s hospices, the Rohingya people in Myanmar, the Banking Standards Commission and school admissions. The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions from MPs  on cathedral entry charges and church lavatories, and spoke about Coventry’s bid to be 2021 City of Culture.

Newspapers carried letters and articles from Lords Spiritual on economic, welfare and gambling policies, and the Speaker’s Chaplain was interviewed on BBC2 Newsnight about religion in politics.

Parliament is now in recess again and will return on 9th October. Continue reading “Fortnight in Westminster, 4th – 15th September 2017”