This week in the House of Lords was an unusual one as it included the first Saturday sitting in 37 years. During the Saturday sitting the Bishop of Leeds responded to the statement from the Prime Minister about the new Brexit Deal. Other bishops spoke this week about the churches role in Health and Social Care in, about freedom of movement of EU and UK citizens and the current political situation in Hong Kong. Bishops also asked questions about the taxation of air-fuel, the ending of cash withdrawal by Barclays from the Post Office and received written answers to questions about the Indian Constitution and Kashmir and the Government’s plans for English language education.
This week in the House of Lords Lords Spiritual attended the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament. The Bishop of Bristol made her first speech in the Lords during the subsequent debate on the address, and the Bishop of Coventry also spoke on relations with European countries. The Bishop of Leeds spoke about extremist elements affecting football, and the Bishop of Oxford urged swifter action to bring in online age-verification for adult websites. The Bishop of Coventry asked what funds were available to help pupils with sever needs, not covered by SEN funding. A Private Member’s Bill was introduced on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans, to regulate gambling. Continue reading “Week in Westminster,14th-18th October 2019”
This week in the House of Lords the Bishop of London spoke about modern slavery, knife crime, funding for refugees, and rural services. The Bishop of Winchester received written answers to questions about the Apprenticeship Levy and post-16 and adult education. On Tuesday evening Parliament was prorogued in advance of the Queen’s Speech. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 7th-11th October 2019”
This week in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Durham and Southwark, spoke about the divisions in Parliament and the country on Brexit, in keeping with their joint College of Bishops letter issued on 27th September. The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, also contributed to the debate on the Spending Round 2019. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 23rd-27th September 2019”
The language used in the House of Commons last night is probably unprecedented. Drawing the name of a murdered MP into the fight was, at the very least, questionable. To describe the contribution of female MPs, pleading with the PM to moderate his language in the light of violence and death threats, as ‘humbug’ is appalling.
I am the bishop of a diocese in which Jo Cox is remembered with massive affection and in which there is great sensitivity to utilisation of her for political purposes. Her family are not just names to be traded.
Words are not neutral – they can become weapons. Words in the mouth of leaders can shape the language and behaviour of all sorts of people, and not always positively. The challenge of leadership is to lead, to behave like the adult in the room, to see the big picture, to hold the long-term perspective…
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This week in the House of Lords bishops led a debate on banking reform, and spoke and voted on a Bill that had been passed by MPs to seek an extension of the Brexit date. They asked questions about serious youth crime and funding for education in conflict-torn countries. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on theology and practice in the Church of England and Anglican Communion. Continue reading “Week in Westminster 2nd-6th September 2019”
This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke on problem gambling, post-18 education, mental ill-health, and the apprenticeship levy. They asked questions about air pollution, asthma deaths, the NHS long-term plan, forced marriage, social housing, training for health professionals, Hong Kong, and persecuted groups. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on lead theft from churches, and church-based tourism. Continue reading “Week in Westminster 1st-5th July 2019”