Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises freedom of religion and expression

On Tuesday 9th October 2018 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke in the debate to seek assurances on freedom of thought and expression: 

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, first I too want to say how much I am looking forward to the maiden speeches of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Garnier, and the noble Lord, Lord Tyrie. The noble ​Lord, Lord Tyrie, will be well acquainted with these Benches, having worked closely with my most reverend brother the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which the noble Lord so ably chaired.

In opening this debate, the Minister spoke powerfully and movingly about the terrible consequences of terror, the effect on people’s lives, the suffering that is lifelong for people. It is in this context that I broadly welcome the Bill. I certainly recognise the difficulty of drafting and steering this kind of legislation. It is to walk something of a tightrope, as described by the noble Lord, Lord Marks. The current national security situation is complex, as is seen so sharply in our news headlines this morning. At Second Reading, I would like us to stay alert to that tightrope we walk, to proportionality and, perhaps especially, to the danger of unintended consequences. Continue reading “Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises freedom of religion and expression”

Press notice: Bishop’s Bill calls on MPs to add mothers to marriage certificates

The following appeared on the Church of England website on 24th July 2018:

The House of Lords today passed a bill from the Bishop of St Albans to end the historic inequality of excluding mothers’ names from marriage certificates. The Registration of Marriage Bill, which would also introduce electronic marriage registers, passed its final stage in the House of Lords today and now moves to the House of Commons to be considered by MPs. It is the first time a Bishop’s Private Member’s Bill has proceeded to the House of Commons in more than 20 years. Continue reading “Press notice: Bishop’s Bill calls on MPs to add mothers to marriage certificates”

Bishops of St Albans’s Bill on Marriage Registration passes Report Stage

On Tuesday 17th July 2018 the House of Lords passed without amendment the Registration of Marriage Bill, a Private Member’s Bill introduced by the Bishop of St Albans, at its Report Stage. It will now progress to the final House of Lords stage, Third Reading. Continue reading “Bishops of St Albans’s Bill on Marriage Registration passes Report Stage”

Registration of Marriage Bill – Bishop of St Albans’s Bill passes Committee stage

On 29th June 2018 the House of Lords considered in Committee the Registration of Marriage Bill [HL], a Private Member’s Bill introduced by the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith. The Bishop moved a number of amendments to the Bill in response to points raised by Peers at an earlier stage. Being content with the amendments, the House passed them and the Bill completed its Committee Stage. A full transcript is below:


Continue reading “Registration of Marriage Bill – Bishop of St Albans’s Bill passes Committee stage”

Vote: Civil Liability Bill

On 12th June 2018 the House of Lords considered the  Civil Liability Bill [HL].

Lord Woolf moved amendment 18, to leave out clause 2 (which would have removed the introduction of a tariff system for whiplash injuries). Continue reading “Vote: Civil Liability Bill”

Bishop of Chester affirms the importance of hospitality and welcome for refugees

Chester1On the 11th May 2018 the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster spoke during the Committee Stage debate of the Refugee (Family Reunion) Bill. Bishop Peter intervened during the debate on an amendment from Lord Marlesford to limit the number of family members who can be relocated.  The Bishop disagreed with the amendment and believed it was drawn too narrowly. The amendment from Lord Marlesford was withdrawn at the end of the debate and the Bill will proceed to its next stage. The whole debate can be read at the link below.

Continue reading “Bishop of Chester affirms the importance of hospitality and welcome for refugees”