The Bishop of Manchester spoke in support of a motion to regret moved by Lord Shipley (on behalf of Baroness Thornhill) on 22nd March 2023:
‘That this House regrets that the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Functions) (Modification) Order 2023 will freeze Local Housing Allowance (LHA) at the levels applied in April 2020 and therefore fails to account for inflationary increases in rent, resulting in vulnerable claimants spending a greater proportion of income on rent; further recognises that His Majesty’s Government’s inability to control inflation has resulted in unaffordable rents and contributed to housing insecurity for all tenants; and calls on His Majesty’s Government to align LHA with local housing rates.’
The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, I am very pleased to take part in this short debate. I would like to add my support to the Motion proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Thornhill, and along with others wish her a speedy recovery. I am grateful for the impressive way in which the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, took this on at very short notice.
I declare my interest as set out in the register, I am the owner of one apartment, in Birmingham, currently privately let. I echo the concerns of other noble Lords. I had intended to add further statistics—I am a mathematician by background—but I think noble Lords have had enough numbers in this short debate already.
On 20th December 2022, the Bishop of St Albans paid tribute to the House of Lords staff, and to those who had retired and left the house this year:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I will not detain the House for long but, on behalf of the Lords spiritual, we thank all those extraordinary staff who, through their dedication, have served us so well. I am thinking of the clerks, the doorkeepers, and the catering, security and domestic staff. We really could not function without them and the extraordinary level of professionalism and dedication that they bring.
I will not go through a list of people, although I highlight—because she was a huge help to me— Philippa Tudor and her extraordinary competence and professionalism. We on these Benches also extend our best wishes to the family and friends of Lee Barnes. We offer all those who have been mentioned today our best wishes as they move either into retirement or on to new challenges, and we wish them a very happy Christmas.
On 7th September 2022, the House of Lords discussed the recent ministerial changes, with particular reference to the new Leader of the House of Lords, Lord True, and the outgoing Leader, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park. The Bishop of Oxford made the following speech:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, it is a joy to listen to these tributes. I associate myself with them and, on behalf of the Lords spiritual, add our thanks and appreciation to the noble Baroness for her service over this last six years. It is a happy thing that so many of my colleagues are also here to join in that tribute. It has been my privilege to serve in this House through the whole of the noble Baroness’s tenure. I believe that she has brought the gifts of stability and acuity to her leadership and that the House has functioned well in that time. So far as I can judge, she has increased the respect in which this House is held in the wider nation and country.
On 22nd February 2022, the House of Lords debated a motion ‘That the Report from the Select Committee Divisions: pass-readers; Sessional select committees; Participation of eligible members in oral statements and repeated urgent questions (6th Report, HL Paper 152) be agreed to.’ A vote was held on an amendment to the motion, in which a Bishop took part.
On 25th May 2021 the former Archbishop of York, Rt Revd John Sentamu was introduced to the House of Lords to sit as an independent Crossbench Peer. He will sit under the title Lord Sentamu of Lindisfarne in the County of Northumberland and of Masooli in the Republic of Uganda.
12.08pm The right reverend and the right honourable John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, having been created Baron Sentamu, of Lindisfarne in the County of Northumberland and of Masooli in the Republic of Uganda, was introduced and took the oath, supported by Baroness Hale of Richmond and Lord Popat, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.
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