On 15th October 2018 Baroness Berridge asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans they have to improve the assessment by the Home Office of asylum applications made on the grounds of religious or belief based persecution.’ The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, before training is rolled out, will some religious leaders in this country be consulted on what sort of training might be appropriate, and the sort of questions that may be asked of asylum seekers? At the moment, I should be hard-pressed to answer some of them.
Baroness Williams of Trafford: I would struggle with the questions proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, and might also struggle with questions on my religion. Religious leaders have been engaged. What is to be established is the reason for persecution, therefore religious literacy is needed for the assessors—it is not a test of religious facts.