Bishop of Durham ‘”shocked” by Prime Minister’s Brexit statement

On 25th September 2019 the Leader of the House of Lords repeated a statement from the Prime Minister on Brexit and the judgement of the Supreme Court on prorogation. The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, contributed to the debate:

Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, speaking on behalf of these Benches, I struggle to have to say that I was shocked as I listened to the repeat of the Statement. I could not believe that I was hearing it, from someone who knows that the nation is deeply divided and needs to find ways of working together. We need humility, repentance when necessary and an approach that listens carefully to the views of others rather than simply “Attack, attack, attack”. The Leader was not in the House earlier when my most reverend friend the Archbishop of Canterbury was here, but I encourage her to read his comments about the need for reconciliation—to find a different way forward to work together that is good for the nation. In one sense I am simply adding to the mood of the House as a whole, but I come at it from a very different point of view; I am not part of a political party and I have no axe to grind. I simply want to reflect that this was terrible. It was shocking. It is not worthy. I am sorry.

The Lord Privy Seal, the Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con): My noble friend spoke to me following the most reverend Primate’s comments earlier, and I look forward to reading the words that he said; I know that he has said a lot on this issue publicly and has concerns in this area. We will look to work on them.

Lord Horam (Con): [extract] My Lords, I want to follow what the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham said about the need for compromise and the abhorrence of confrontation. …

Lord Clark of Windermere (Lab): [extract] … As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham has already said, we all need to approach this with humility and try to be positive in finding our way forward.


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