Bishop of Leeds asks about 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 15th November 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received a written answer to a question on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to mark, in 2018, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about Saudi Arabia – arms sales, reforms and extremism

On 15th November 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received  written answers to three questions on Saudi Arabia: on arms exports, reforms, and violent extremism:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the value of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, and (3) 2017.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent announcement that he intends to return Saudi Arabia to a path of “moderate Islam”.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between (1) reports that Saudi Arabia funds organisations that promote a Salafist Wahhabist ideology, and (2) the growth of violent extremism. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about Saudi Arabia – arms sales, reforms and extremism”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth

On Wednesday 15th November 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to five questions about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth: 

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain apostasy laws.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain some form of blasphemy law.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain the death penalty.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their strategy for protecting freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of funds currently allocated under the Magna Carta Fund aim to protect or strengthen freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about freedom of religion and belief and use of the death penalty across the Commonwealth”

Bishop of Ely calls for diversity and not profit to be guiding principle in new housing provision

On 14th November 2017 Lord Naseby asked Her Majesty’s Government “what work they have undertaken to plan for another generation of New Towns”. The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, plans for new towns must include a wide range of different kinds of housing to enable all people to access decent, affordable homes. Developers often wish to build large, four or five-bedroom houses—unsurprisingly, as they make the most profit—but families, couples and single-person households need very different kinds of properties. How are Her Majesty’s Government planning to ensure that a wide range of housing sizes and tenures will be provided in these new developments? Continue reading “Bishop of Ely calls for diversity and not profit to be guiding principle in new housing provision”

Bishop of St Albans leads debate on risks of rising household debt

On Monday 13th November the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords on the levels of household debt in the UK. His opening speech is below, along with the responding speech of the Government Minister (all the speeches in the debate can be read here).

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the risks posed by current levels of household debt in the United Kingdom.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am deeply concerned—as I know are many other Members of this Chamber—about rising levels of household debt in this country. Households in the UK are taking ​on far more debt than they used to and overall are taking on more debt than they bring home in income. While the ratio of household debt to income has not yet eclipsed the 160% peak hit in early 2008, it currently hovers around 140%, a dramatic shift from the ratio of 95% in 1997.

Of course there are good reasons why families in this country choose to take on debt—perhaps to buy a house or another form of secured debt—but, nevertheless, we know that for some people the prospect of saving for a house is inconceivable and that those who are lucky enough to purchase a house take on an extremely high level of mortgage debt. This burden, especially for young people, should be recognised. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans leads debate on risks of rising household debt”

Week in Westminster, 6th-8th November 2017

Parliament sat for two days this week, before rising for the short November recess. In the House of Lords bishops spoke in a debate on children and the internet, and asked a question about technical education in the North East. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question about the anniversary of the Five Articles of Perth. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 6th-8th November 2017”

Bishop of Durham asks about reforms to technical education in the North East

On 8th November 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about technical education in the north east:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the current status of the proposed reform of technical education in the North East. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about reforms to technical education in the North East”