In the past week, Bishops in the House of Lords have spoken in debates on the Deregulation Bill and in response to the Government statement on child abuse cases.
They have also put questions to the Government on sexual violence and food security in South Sudan, legal aid and the political situation in Egypt.
Monday 7 July
Legal Aid – Oral Question
Lord Bach asked Her Majesty’s Government, 15 months after the coming into force of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, what is their assessment of the effect of the Act on the legal advice system in relation to social welfare law in England and Wales. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, asked a supplementary question which can be read here.
Deregulation Bill – Debate
The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, took part in the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Deregulation Bill, led by Lord Wallace of Saltaire. In his speech he welcomed many of the measures, but raised concerns about two areas covered by the Bill – the work of employment tribunals and provisions that would require regulators to have regard for promoting economic growth.
The Bishop said: “In general, the question of whether or to what extent a particular type of economic activity is a legitimate driver of economic growth is a moral one that should not just be subsumed under a catch-all principle that regulators should promote economic growth. The prevention of damaging or unjust economic activity, surely, is equally germane to their mission.”
A full transcript of the speech is available here.
Child Abuse Cases – Response to Government Statement
A Government statement on an inquiry into child abuse, originally made by the Home Secretary, was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, asked a question about Church involvement in the matter. The original question, and its answer can be read here.
Sexual Violence in South Sudan – Written Question
The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, received an answer to a written question on South Sudan.The original question and its answer from Baroness Warsi are available here.
Tuesday 8 July
Food security in South Sudan – Oral Question
Labour Peer Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the concerns expressed by the Disasters Emergency Committee over the prospect of famine in South Sudan. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a supplementary question which can be read here.
Thursday 10 July
Egypt – Written Questions
On 10th July 2014, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to two written questions on elections and democratic reform in Egypt. The original questions and the answers given by Baroness Warsi, can be read here