Note for readers, January 2021

January 2021.
We are temporarily unable to post daily updates to this website with details of questions, speeches and votes. News will continue to be posted from time to time.

Please use the following links for the most up to date contributions from the Lords Spiritual and the Second Church Estates Commissioner:

Lords Spiritual

Second Estates Commissioner

Mental health, Armenia, gambling, Ethiopia

On 18th January 2021 in the House of Lords the Bishop of Bristol asked a question about mental health, the Bishop of Coventry asked about Armenian heritage.

Meanwhile the Bishop of St Albans and the Archbishop of York received written answers to questions on gambling-related harm and Ethiopia.

Full text below.

Continue reading “Mental health, Armenia, gambling, Ethiopia”

Vaccines for developing world, poverty in the pandemic, devolution and Ethiopia  

In the House of Lords on 14th January 2021 the Bishop of St Albans received written answers to questions on vaccines for developing countries and the situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia while the Bishop of Durham received answers to questions on the recent updated report by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England on Poverty in the pandemic.
Meanwhile in the Chamber, the Bishop of Birmingham raised the issue of devolution in England with the Government during Lord Young’s Oral question about the formation of a Constitution, Democracy and Human Rights Commission. Text below:

Continue reading “Vaccines for developing world, poverty in the pandemic, devolution and Ethiopia  “

‘Spycops’ and gambling related harm

In the House of Lords on 13th January 2021 the Bishop of Durham spoke during the debate on the Covert Human Intelligence Bill and the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on support for those living with gambling-related harm. Details below:

Continue reading “‘Spycops’ and gambling related harm”

Votes: EU (Future Relationship) Bill

On 30th December 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s European Union (Future Relationship) Bill at all stages. Three votes were held on the Bill, in which bishops took part:

Continue reading “Votes: EU (Future Relationship) Bill”

EU (Future Relationship) Bill: Bishop of Southwark welcomes deal, stresses interdependence of people and nations

On 30th December 2020 the House of Lords considered all stages of the Government’s European Union (Future Relationship) Bill. The Bishop of Southwark spoke at Second Reading:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I am glad to follow the noble Lord, Lord Butler of Brockwell, and agree with much of what he said. I congratulate Her Majesty’s Government on achieving a negotiated outcome with the European Union. In doing so, I pay tribute not only to the Prime Minister but to the negotiating team, which bore a weighty burden, the Civil Service support that provided them with necessary expertise and, last but not least, the chief negotiator the noble Lord, Lord Frost.

The wider debate requires a candid and truthful recognition of what has been a complex process, including an explicit acknowledgement that a successful negotiation requires significant compromise. Such truthful recognition makes for good civil discourse. This will be further helped by more accurate language about the good and less good aspects of the package and appropriate scrutiny of detail—sadly not possible today. I hope that the public debate is less about the intangibles of rhetoric and more about the true and honest cost of the investment, outreach and spiritual renewal needed if we are to flourish as a nation state, going forward.

My final point begins with comments from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth, recently retired from this House, who, early in the pandemic, spoke of what has become a much wider perception that our lives are bound together with those of every human being on this planet. That, he said, poses “the biggest moral questions”. A more positive focus on our continuing interdependence, not least with other European nations but more widely—globally—would be welcome and herald the future partnerships that are so essential to our national well-being.

Therefore, I hope that, as we consider the Bill and continue the shared endeavour that is our proud national story, we recognise that people and institutions flourish best under relational frameworks and that individualism, freed of obligation or collective provision, will ultimately fail. We are still in the season of Christmas, and the birth of a saviour transcends all national boundaries with a message of peace and good will to all people.

Bishop of Durham asks about development, environment and prosperity in Burundi, Lesotho and Rwanda

On 30th December the Bishop of Durham received written answers to questions about Burundi, Lesotho and Rwanda and the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index 2020:

 The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Legatum Institute The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020, published on 16 November; and in particular that report’s findings that Burundi is (1) 157th out of 167 countries ranked in terms of overall prosperity, and (2) among the top 10 worst countries in the world in the categories of (a) economic quality, (b) living conditions, and (c) health. [HL11204] Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about development, environment and prosperity in Burundi, Lesotho and Rwanda”

Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid

On 30th December the Bishop of Worcester received written answers to five questions on Government plans to reduce the overseas aid budget:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to consult with (1) civil society, (2) faith groups, and (3) other humanitarian actors, before drafting any legislation to amend the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015. [HL11257] Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid”

Bishop of St Albans asks about gambling, credit cards, young people

On 30th December the Bishop of St Albans received written answers to questions on gambling; use of credit cards, young people, and conflicts of interest of firms bidding for contracts to treat people with mental health issues:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Government Response to the House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee Report: Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, published on 8 December, what plans they have to mandate a ban on all gambling transactions via credit cards. [HL11492] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about gambling, credit cards, young people”

Bishop of St Albans asks about HSBC, China and Hong Kong democracy campaigners

On 30th December the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to questions on HSBC, China and democracy campaigners in Hong Kong:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between HSBC Bank and the Chinese Communist Party. [HL11375]

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to HSBC Bank following that bank’s suspension of the bank accounts of pro-democracy campaigners from Hong Kong. [HL11376] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about HSBC, China and Hong Kong democracy campaigners”