Agriculture Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments on food security, spending, and direct payments

On 15th September 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Agriculture Bill at its Report Stage. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, sponsored and spoke in favour of amendments to:

  • improve food security and access to food that promotes good health and wellbeing,
  • require Government to set out detailed spending plans,
  • delay the start of the transition away from direct farm payments from 2021 to 2022.

The amendments were not put to a vote but withdrawn after debate.

Continue reading “Agriculture Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments on food security, spending, and direct payments”

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Southwark supports amendment on exempting health and social care workers from the Immigration Health Charge

On 14th September 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, during its third day in Committee.

The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun,  supported amendments to the Bill to make EEA and Swiss nationals coming to the UK to work as a healthcare or social care worker exempt from the Immigration Health Charge

As is usual in Committee, the amendments were not pressed to a vote after debate, though some issues may be returned to again at a later stage. A transcript of the Bishop’s speeches is below. The text of the amendment supported by the Bishop are reproduced underneath. Continue reading “Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Southwark supports amendment on exempting health and social care workers from the Immigration Health Charge”

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendments on detention, refugee family reunion and unaccompanied children

On 14th September 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, during its third day in Committee.

The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler,  supported amendments to the Bill, on:

  •  Limiting the time a specified person can be detained for immigration purposes, and defining those purposes.
  • Family reunion for those seeking refugee status, and unaccompanied children

As is usual in Committee, the amendments were not pressed to a vote after debate, though some issues may be returned to again at a later stage. A transcript of the Bishop’s speeches is below, with extracts from the speeches of the Minister responding. The text of amendments 39, 40 and 48 supported by the Bishop are reproduced at the bottom. Continue reading “Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendments on detention, refugee family reunion and unaccompanied children”

Immigration and Social Security Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendments on right to work, cost of citizenship, impact on religious people

On 9th September 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, during its second day in Committee.

The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, proposed and supported amendments to the Bill, on:

  • the right to work after six months for asylum claimants
  • ‘displaced talent visas’ for for skilled forcibly displaced people
  • reducing the cost of citizenship administration fees
  • assessing the impact of the Bill on religious people

As is usual in Committee, the amendments were not pressed to a vote after debate, though some issues may be returned to again at a later stage. A transcript of the Bishop’s speeches is below, with extracts from the speeches of others in support and the Minister responding: Continue reading “Immigration and Social Security Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendments on right to work, cost of citizenship, impact on religious people”

Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn delivers maiden speech in House of Lords

On 8th September 2020 during the House of Lords second reading debate on the Government’s Trade Bill, Rt Revd Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, delivered his maiden speech. The full text is below:

The Lord Bishop of Blackburn (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I am extremely grateful for the warmth of the welcome that I have received in my Introduction to your House. When I told my elderly father in 2013 that I had been appointed to serve as the next Bishop of Blackburn, many miles away from his home in Sussex, he was very quiet and somewhat disappointed that my wife and I would be living so far away, but then a light came into his eyes and he asked, “Does that mean you may be invited to enter the House of Lords?” When I replied in the affirmative, he said very quickly, “Well, then, that makes it all right.”

I come, first and foremost, as a Christian who will seek opportunity to support the convictions and values foundational to our faith in Jesus Christ, and to draw attention to those many today, around the world, who are persecuted for their faith in him, and then to advocate for the right for all to enjoy freedom of speech and belief, wherever they may live, and to do so in peace.

Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn delivers maiden speech in House of Lords”

Bishops of Southwark and Bristol highlight concerns with Government’s Immigration Bill

On 22nd July the Government’s Immigration and Social Security (EU Withdrawal) Bill was debated at Sec0nd Reading in the House of Lords. The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, and the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, spoke in the debate, highlighting modern slavery, work eligibility, EU citizens, visas for ministers of religion, tariffs, and children’s welfare.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, the introduction of this Bill in another place is a signal opportunity for Her Majesty’s Government comprehensively to reset the legislative basis for immigration control in this country, to set out a vision for doing so, and to rationalise and streamline the more than 1,000 pages of immigration legislation under which we labour. It is surprising, therefore, that, as other speakers have pointed out, this Bill is so narrow in scope. Continue reading “Bishops of Southwark and Bristol highlight concerns with Government’s Immigration Bill”

Agriculture Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments on food security and vulnerable farmers

On 21st July House of Lords debated amendments to the Government’s  Agriculture Bill, during its Committee stage. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, spoke to amendments on maintaining food security during he movement to the new farm payments scheme.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I will say a few words about the transition period and, in particular, in support of Amendments 150 to 154 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Rock, which have the support of the National Farmers Union and the noble Earl, Lord Dundee, among others.

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Votes: Business and Planning Bill

Two votes on amendments to the Government’s Business and Planning Bill took place on Monday 20th July during its Report Stage. The Bishop of St Albans supported both amendments: Continue reading “Votes: Business and Planning Bill”

House of Lords approves Church of England Channel Islands Measure

On 15th July 2020 the House of Lords approved a Motion to pass for Royal Assent the Church of England Channel Island Measure, which was introduced by the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt Revd David Urquhart. The full debate is below.

Channel Islands Measure

Motion to Direct

Moved by The Lord Bishop of Birmingham:

That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Channel Islands Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.

The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, I shall give some brief historical and current background to the Channel Islands Measure, then outline its content.

Until the 16th century, the Channel Islands were part of the Church of France and the diocese of Coutances. In 1496, Henry VII obtained a papal bull transferring the islands to the English diocese of Salisbury, but it seems this was not put into effect. The islands finally became part of the Church of England in 1569, when they were transferred to the diocese of Winchester by Order in Council of Elizabeth I. Since then, the Church of England has been the established Church of the islands.​ Continue reading “House of Lords approves Church of England Channel Islands Measure”

Bishop of St Albans supports food security amendments to the Agriculture Bill

On 14th July the House of Lords considered the Government’s Agriculture Bill in Committee. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, spoke in the debate on amendments focusing on food security.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I support a number of amendments in this group, in particular those that touch on food security, such as Amendments 35 and 60. Food security is crucial, both for our protection and for the flourishing and survival of any nation. History teaches us that food shortages have always occurred. They are often caused by many different factors and occur at an alarming rate. One of the earliest historical examples of this is found in the Hebrew scriptures, in Genesis chapters 41 and 42, where we read of Jacob storing up grain in Egypt ready for the seven years of famine. Not only did his actions save the lives of many, but underlying this narrative is the message that food is also about political power:

“And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.”

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans supports food security amendments to the Agriculture Bill”