On 29th July 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question to HM Government about the cases of Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, on trial in Egypt. Amnesty International is campaigning for their release.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Egypt on behalf of Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.
Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
In the last week before Parliament rose for the summer recess, bishops in the House of Lords spoke in response to the Budget and on the Mediterranean migrant situation. They also asked questions on payday loan advertising, fixed odds betting terminals and the role of arts in education. Both the House of Commons and House of Lords will return in September.
On 22nd, 23rd & 24th July 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the scale of gambling addiction in Greater London and fixed-odds betting terminals:
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the research undertaken by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling into the social problems caused by fixed-odds betting terminals. [HL1485]
On 24th July 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to three written questions on forced marriage.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cases the Forced Marriage Unit was involved in, or gave support and advice to, in 2014. Continue reading
“Welcoming the persecuted and the dispossessed is a duty for civilised nations—I would argue that it is a Christian duty—and in the long term it is good for the host nation, as well as for those fleeing for their lives” – Bishop of Peterborough, 22/7/15
On the 22nd July 2015 the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke in a debate on the relocation of Mediterranean migrants within the EU. The Bishop spoke of our duty as a nation to help the persecuted and dispossessed, alongside addressing the root causes through aid, diplomacy and other appropriate means.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, like other speakers, I am grateful for this debate and particularly grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Prashar, and her colleagues for this excellent, moving and powerful report.
Of course, there are no easy answers to this dilemma, and I do not pretend that there are. I fully accept that any further help that we offer these poor disrupted people should be on a voluntary basis.Generosity and hospitality are important but cannot be mandated. On the other hand, as relatively wealthy members of the family of nations and of the European Union, we have a duty to help the persecuted and dispossessed, and to offer support to poorer European partners who find themselves under severe pressure. I stress that this is not easy. Continue reading
On the 22nd July 2015 Lord Aberdare asked the Government ‘how they plan to ensure that the United Kingdom retains its global position in the creative sector in the light of plans announced in June to require all state secondary school pupils to study five English Baccalaureate core subject areas, which exclude any music, arts or culture element’. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, does the Minister agree that education is about not just national productivity but the whole of human flourishing? The arts, music and cultural subjects in general are essential to that.
On the 21st July 2015 the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke during the debate on the Budget Statement. The Bishop welcomed the new National Living Wage and asked for greater transitional support for employers and employees, as well as careful attention to phasing in the reduction in tax credits.