Bishop of Newcastle asks about steps to reduce hardship in Universal Credit areas

On 12th December 2018 the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, received a written answer to a question on hardship and the impact on debt & health in Universal Credit pilot areas:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking (1) to address hardship caused in Universal Credit pilot areas, and (2) to ensure that the same impacts on debt and health are not caused by the future roll-out of Universal Credit. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks about steps to reduce hardship in Universal Credit areas”

Bishop of Salisbury supports call for review into Operation Conifer

On 11th December 2018 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Lexden, “That this House regrets the failure by Her Majesty’s Government to institute an independent inquiry into Operation Conifer conducted by the Wiltshire police into allegations of child sex abuse against Sir Edward Heath; and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to make proposals for an independent review of the seven unsubstantiated allegations left unresolved at the end of Operation Conifer.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Lexden, for his doggedness in persisting with this, and the other Members of the House who have also done so.

I come at this from something of a different angle. We are dealing with an extremely difficult issue as a society. The Church of England knows something about it—but so do we all. This is really difficult stuff. It would not be enough to have an inquiry into the seven unresolved and said to be unsubstantiated allegations. It is about what we have learned from our experience, about good practice, about what has gone wrong and about how we develop things for the future. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury supports call for review into Operation Conifer”

Bishop of Chester questions strength of protections of new online pornography regulations

On 11th December 2018 the House of Lords considered a motion to approve the Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018. During the debate the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I am pleased to speak in general support of the regulations and guidance. They relate to matters which I and others raised during the passage of the Digital Economy Bill in 2017 and, more broadly, to issues debated by the House a couple of years ago in a balloted debate that I introduced. The subject of that debate was the impact of pornography on our society. While there was some disagreement over the impact of pornography on adults, there was virtual unanimity that children needed to be protected from pornography—as far as this could reasonably be achieved. I seem somehow, by default, to have become the episcopal expert on pornography. I am trying to live that down. It is just the way it has fallen—although I often find myself talking from these Benches about things I have not had much experience of. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester questions strength of protections of new online pornography regulations”

Bishop of Chester asks Government about nature of backstop in EU Withdrawal Agreement

On 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question in response:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I want to take the House back to the concept of a backstop. Is not the nature of a backstop that it must be a backstop? ​A backstop that one party can unilaterally abrogate somehow ceases to be a backstop. How can you negotiate away a backstop and it still remain a backstop? Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks Government about nature of backstop in EU Withdrawal Agreement”

Bishop of Leeds comments on Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal statement

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a question in response:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the Prime Minister says in her Statement that those who continue to disagree need to shoulder the responsibility of advocating an alternative solution that can be delivered. Surely that is everybody’s responsibility. She goes on to ask people to be honest about the implications of what they want. However, it seems to me that people have been honest for the last couple of years but they have not been listened to. Has the time now come for the Prime Minister and the Government to stop playing a zero-sum game and, on a cross-party basis, find a credible way ahead?

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds comments on Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal statement”

Vote: Motion to adjourn Lords debate on EU withdrawal deal

On 10th December 2018 the House of Lords voted on whether to resume the debate on the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement straight away, or to wait until after it had heard a repeat of the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons. Seven bishops took part in the vote. The Motion was passed (against the Government) and when the House resumed it was decided not to continue with the debate.  Continue reading “Vote: Motion to adjourn Lords debate on EU withdrawal deal”

Bishop of St Albans asks about upholding human rights

StAlbans051218On 10th December 2018, Baroness Berridge tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the publication produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, Commentary on the State of Freedom of Religion or Belief; and what steps they are taking to mark International Human Rights Day.’ The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about upholding human rights”