Bishop of Durham asks about immigration detention centres

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 6th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many propositions for new Immigration Removal Centres have been announced to market in the last two years.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): In the period 23 November 2020 to 23 November 2022 the Home Office has announced to the market three new Immigration Removals Centres: Derwentside IRC, Campsfield IRC, and Haslar IRC.

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Bishop of Durham asks about Manston immigration facility

The Bishop of Durham asked a question about the future use of the Manston immigration facility, and whether children would be detained there, during a debate on the accommodation and safeguarding of migrants on 9th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: How will His Majesty’s Government ensure that Manston will now remain a 24-hour facility only, in a way that can be scaled up if necessary, and that no children are detained there at all—or, at least, are not detained with adults who they do not know?

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Bishop of Durham asks whether the government will condemn threats against British-Iranian journalists by Iran

The Bishop of Durham asked a question on threats made against journalists at Iran International during a debate on protesters in Iran on 9th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To follow up on that, it was reported earlier this week that the lives of two British-Iranian journalists were at risk due to lethal threats from Iran following their coverage of the protests for the news channel Iran International. Will the Government take steps to condemn these threats and encourage the freedom of the press in Iran?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): My Lords, we will and I do so now.

Hansard

Bishop of Durham asks about detention and accommodation of migrants

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 9th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government whether they have adopted the recommendation in the report by Stephen Shaw Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons (Cm 9186), published in January 2016, to reduce the use of detention for immigration purposes and to explore alternatives.

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Bishop of Durham speaks about need for more social and affordable housing

The Bishop of Durham spoke in a debate on housing demand on 8th November 2022, emphasising the need to build more social housing and affordable homes:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I begin by commending the report and thank the noble Lord, Lord Moylan, for introducing this debate. I also commend the work of my right reverend friend the Bishop of Chelmsford, who, as the Church of England’s lead bishop for housing, has tirelessly engaged with this issue and the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.

Last year, the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community published its Coming Home report, which set out a vision for housing to be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying. It is through these values that strong and lasting communities can be built, enabling people to thrive and flourish. It was very interesting to note how warmly these five values were welcomed by the industry itself as a guide.

However, the reality is that a large proportion of housing in this country does not embody these values. It is widely stated that we face a housing crisis, including a shortage of social housing. Social housing is designed to help those whose needs are not served by the market, most commonly those on the lowest incomes. However, when Meeting Housing Demand was published, 1.9 million households were on local authority waiting lists for social housing in England. With rents and interest rates rapidly rising, more households are being pushed into poverty and this list is only growing longer.

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Bishop of Durham asks about cost-of-living and financial support for migrants with no recourse to public funds

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 8th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what support individuals with No Recourse to Public Funds will be able to access this winter as part of (1) the £11.7 billion Energy Bills Support Scheme, and (2) the wider £37 billion cost of living assistance package for consumers.

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Online Safety Bill: Bishop of Durham stresses importance of child protection

On 7th November 2022, the House of Lords debated a private notice question from Baroness Kidron concerning the passage of the Online Safety Bill, as to whether the bill would be brought forward and passed during this parliamentary session. The Bishop of Durham asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, this seems a classic example of the people we want to protect not getting a voice. Five years’ worth of children have been damaged because of the lack of this. Please can we and the business managers put the children first?

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Bishop of Durham asks about report on families by the Children’s Commissioner

The Bishop of Durham asked a question on the government’s assessment of a report by the Children’s Commissioner as part of the Independent Family Review, on 7th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Children’s Commissioner for England Family and its protective effect: Part 1 of the Independent Family Review, published on 1 September; and in particular, what assessment they have made of the definition of the ‘protective effect’ and its implications for future policy.

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Bishop of Durham asks about government treatment of migrants and refugees

The Lord Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 2nd November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what is the estimated cost of reopening (1) the Campsfield House immigration removal centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and (2) the Haslar immigration removal centre in Gosport, Hampshire.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): As set out in the Prior Information Notice published on 21 September, the current estimated operating costs for Campsfield and Haslar immigration removal centres (IRC) for the lifetime of the 8 year contract will be £170 million and £229 million respectively. In addition to the operating costs, there are also costs associated with the refurbishment and new build of the sites.

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Bishop of Durham asks about appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary

On 27th October 2022, the Bishop of Durham asked a question about the suitability of the appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, in response to a Commons Urgent Question on her resignation and reappointment:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I do not come at this from any party-political angle. The question in my mind is this. Even if all the justifications are correct—and there are big questions about that—was it wise, in seeking to offer integrity and leadership, to appoint someone so rapidly who had raised so many questions about whether she was suitable to hold the office?

Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con): Ms Braverman apologised. She resigned from a great office of state. She accepted the remedies of the Ministerial Code. Things then moved on at great speed. We have different circumstances. We have a Government who need to deliver for the British people in difficult economic circumstances. She needs to be able to play her part in making our borders safer and better, and she needs the support of this House.

Hansard

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