Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
This week, bishops in the House of Lords took part in debates on the Recall of MPs Bill, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, autism and the criminal justice system, Local Government Finance Settlements and the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill. Three Church of England Measures were debated and agreed to. Bishops also asked questions on milk, the arts and child marriage.
In the House of Commons, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill passed all of its legislative stages and will receive its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Thursday 12th February.
Monday 19th January
In the House of Commons, MPs debated all stages of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill. The Bill passed its Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading without any amendments. The full transcript of the debate is reproduced here.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in the Committee Stage of the Recall of MPs Bill, speaking in favour of an amendment that sought to raise the threshold at which a petition could trigger a by-election from 10 per cent of the electorate to 20 per cent. The amendment was withdrawn following the debate.
The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the sustainability of milk production in the UK.
Tuesday 20th January
The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a supplementary question on the relationship between the study of arts and liberal humanities, and the prevention of political and religious extremist beliefs.
The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke during the Committee Stage of the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. He spoke in favour of an amendment that would require the Bill to be subject to Government review after two years of its application. The amendment was withdrawn after the debate.
Wednesday 21st January
The Bishop of St Albans received answers to written questions on the subjects of child marriage and the sustainability of UK milk production.
Thursday 22nd January
The Bishop of St Albans took part in a debate on improving access to the criminal justice system and victim support for people with autism spectrum disorders.
Three bishops took part in a debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement – the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster; the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, and the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, who made his maiden speech in the debate.
Friday 23rd January
The Bishop of Derby spoke in favour of the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill, during its Second Reading in the House of Lords.