On 7th September 2022, the House of Lords discussed the recent ministerial changes, with particular reference to the new Leader of the House of Lords, Lord True, and the outgoing Leader, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park. The Bishop of Oxford made the following speech:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, it is a joy to listen to these tributes. I associate myself with them and, on behalf of the Lords spiritual, add our thanks and appreciation to the noble Baroness for her service over this last six years. It is a happy thing that so many of my colleagues are also here to join in that tribute. It has been my privilege to serve in this House through the whole of the noble Baroness’s tenure. I believe that she has brought the gifts of stability and acuity to her leadership and that the House has functioned well in that time. So far as I can judge, she has increased the respect in which this House is held in the wider nation and country.
As others have said, this has been a particularly turbulent period for Parliament, politically and practically, with the outworking of Brexit and the pandemic requiring the House to adopt remote and then hybrid working. The noble Baroness has been a consistent, calm and steadying presence throughout, with a real sharpness and grasp of the issues, combined with a deep courtesy and respect for tradition. The House owes her a debt of deep gratitude for steering us through this time.
I also take this opportunity to give thanks to the service of the noble Lord, Lord Ashton. His and the noble Baroness’s doors have always been open to the Lords spiritual, and we are grateful for the welcome that they have shown to new arrivals on the Bishops’ Benches, the Convenor and the Archbishop of Canterbury in making it possible to host his annual debate.
We also welcome most sincerely the noble Lord, Lord True, to his post and look forward to working with him in his new role in the coming months and years.