Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what they are doing to combat hate speech online

On 15th March 2018 the Bishop of Gloucester asked a question she had tabled to Government on online hate speech. The exchanges are below, including the follow-up questions asked by other Members.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to combat hate speech online.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): My Lords, this Government abhor all forms of hate speech. It is clear that what is illegal offline is also illegal online. That is why we are taking a cross-government approach through the hate crime action plan, which will be refreshed this year. We are funding an online hate crime hub, building digital resilience and have successfully worked with industry and partners internationally to agree the removal of illegal content within 24 hours.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, we know that websites and apps have brought many benefits, but at a cost. From my own visits to schools, I am particularly concerned about the hate speech that young people are exposed to online, including through anonymous apps like Sarahah. What are the Government doing to ensure that the age verification checks on apps are effective? How are the Government working with smaller developers to ensure that their platforms are not used to propagate threats and hate speech? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what they are doing to combat hate speech online”

Bishop of Gloucester highlights long term funding needs for women’s centres in prison sector

Gloucester071117 bIn the House of Lords on the 22nd February 2018 the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government about their long-term plans for the prison sector, specifically plans for the funding of women’s centres.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their vision for the long-term future of the prison system.

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Keen of Elie) (Con): My Lords, we shall seek to maintain a prison system that is sufficient for public protection and will provide opportunity for the rehabilitation of offenders. Where it is necessary for offenders to be deprived of their liberty, their detention should be decent and safe.
 The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, in 2015, the Justice Committee of the other place concluded that funding for women’s centres, “appears to be a recurring problem”. Ten years after the report of the noble Baroness, Lady Corston, can the Minister assure me that secure, long-term funding for women’s centres is now a high priority?

Bishop of Gloucester urges greater requirements for online platforms to identify and remove harmful content

On 11th January 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Kidron “That this House takes note of the role played by social media and online platforms as news and content publishers.” The Bishop of Gloucester spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron, for obtaining this debate. I, too, thank her for her tireless work in this area.

Social media and online platforms now play an enormous role in shaping national dialogue and accepted social standards. In my visits to primary schools and secondary schools in the diocese of Gloucester, I have spent time talking with children about social media, and I affirm all that is good. Yet, as children progress to secondary school, their view of themselves and the world is increasingly being shaped by social media and online platforms. Young people are receiving strong messages about worth being about looking a certain way and about success being measured in online likes. Furthermore, their fears about the world they are growing up in are being fuelled by what they read online. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester urges greater requirements for online platforms to identify and remove harmful content”

Bishop of Gloucester supports Government Bill to aid victims of domestic violence

On Tuesday 9th January 2018 the House of Lords debated at Second Reading the Government’s ‘Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill [HL]’. The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, welcomed the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I wish to comment only briefly today, first by paying tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for her work on this issue and by thanking both her and my right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans for their initial work during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act. Secondly, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, for his commitment to addressing this issue. I also need to declare an interest as an ambassador for the charity Restored, an international Christian alliance that seeks to end violence against women.

As has been said, domestic abuse of any sort is demeaning, degrading and something that no one should have to endure. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester supports Government Bill to aid victims of domestic violence”

Bishop of Gloucester asks about Parole Board funding and due diligence in case of release of John Worboys

On 9th January 2018 the Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Keen of Elie) repeated a Statement made in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Justice on the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys and the Government’s response to the issues raised by the case. The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I thank the Minister for bringing this issue to the House and for the pertinent points made on this important subject. What action are the Government taking to ensure that the Parole Board is adequately funded so that due diligence can be performed before decisions are made? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about Parole Board funding and due diligence in case of release of John Worboys”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about child refugee policy post-Brexit

On the 8th January 2018 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what new arrangements they propose to introduce to support child refugees following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: Can the Minister confirm that any new provision will be at least as generous as under the Dublin III regulations and that there will be even wider scope for child refugees to join ​not only parents in the UK but also other relatives such as uncles, aunts, grandparents and adult siblings? Will they also be given the support they need to live safely and in decent conditions? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about child refugee policy post-Brexit”

Bishops show support for Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill

The following letter, in support of Baroness Hamwee’s Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill signed by eight bishops, seven of whom are Lords Spiritual, appeared in The Times newspaper on 15th December 2017.

REFUGEE REFORM BILL

Sir, Britain is one of the few countries in Europe that does not allow refugee children who arrive alone in the UK to bring a parent here. This is the most glaring example of overly restrictive rules that deny many refugees the chance to live with their family. Today Baroness Hamwee will sponsor the Refugee Families Reunion Bill in the House of Lords, which would allow a wider range of family members to be reunited with refugees living in the UK. Continue reading “Bishops show support for Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill”