Week in Westminster, 9th-13th November 2020

Parliament met in Westminster and online this week. The Bishop of Durham was on duty in the House of Lords and read prayers at the start of each sitting day.

The Bishop raised concerns about child safety in the Government’s Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill. He also asked questions about the need for a child poverty commission, safety guidance for places of worship, homelessness, a Royal Commission on criminal justice, and benefit rates.  He received answers to written questions on safe asylum routes and the outsourcing of asylum interviews.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Leeds spoke in the debate on the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill, and sponsored amendments on Northern Ireland and international law. They and seven other bishops voted with the large majority to remove controversial clauses of the Bill on those issues.

The Bishop of Winchester asked Government to continue to prioritise freedom of religion and belief overseas.

The Bishop of Oxford received written answers to questions on employment conditions in the gig economy.

The Bishop of St Albans asked Government about Hong Kong, and received written answers to questions on rural infrastructure investment, gambling harm, housebuilding, and Uighurs in China.

The Bishop of Portsmouth asked a question about job losses as a result of coronavirus.

The Bishop of Southwark supported an amendment by Lord Dubs on child refugees and family reunion, to the Government’s Immigration Bill.

The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question about the elimination of gender-based violence.