On 27th February 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on the latest rough sleeping annual statistics for 2019, and the approach of the Government. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am grateful for that Statement and look forward to the review by Dame Louise Casey. Does the Minister agree that many elements of civil society, particularly churches, faith communities and charities, while waiting for this, are out on the streets almost every night? I refer to what we call floating shelters in many parts of the country through the winter months—which can be five months—which skew the figures a bit, because they take people off the streets. There are some excellent examples in my neck of the woods, where the churches host rough sleepers overnight and the mosques provide the curry. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds pays tribute to churches, faith groups and charities providing floating shelters”
In the House of Lords on 11th February 2020, Baroness Pinnock asked the Government “what plans they have to bring back into use empty Victorian mills in the Pennine area of the North of England.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, there are some wonderful examples of how old mills being rejuvenated and given new life, such as Salts Mill in Saltaire and Manningham Mills, although there is a vast amount of empty space there. If they were icons of the old northern powerhouse, they are now becoming icons of dereliction. Does the Minister agree that if nothing is going to happen, then it would be better to knock them down? I do not favour that, but there needs to be a strategy that allows these wonderful buildings to be brought back into life, to be given a sort of resurrection.
Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government for strategy to resurrect Victorian mill buildings”
On 4th, 5th and 6th February 202o the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers, to questions on freedom of religion and belief.
On 15th January 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill at its second day in Committee. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in support of an amendment* to provide an ongoing role for both Houses of Parliament during the future relationship negotiations.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I think that the context has changed. When the Benn amendment went through, it was suspected of having the intention to thwart or delay Brexit. We are not in that position now: Brexit is going to go ahead. Surely, then, it is the job of the whole of Parliament to defend and promote its own interests and those of the Government in the negotiations going forward. So, in a perverse way, this amendment strengthens the hand of the Government by bringing in Parliament to back it and provide support as they embark on their negotiations; it does not diminish it. Continue reading “European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Bishop of Leeds supports amendment on parliamentary oversight of future negotiations”
On 14th January 2020 Lord Oates (LD) moved Amendment 2 to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill during its Committee Stage*. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate on the amendment:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: I thank the Minister for giving way. Does she agree that many of the 2.5 million people who have registered have done so resentfully and unhappily, because the process that they have been made to go through is effectively applying for a status that many of them have for decades felt that they should have had automatically?
Continue reading “European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill: Bishop of Leeds cites dissatisfaction with EU citizens registration rules”
On 13th January 2020 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the second reading debate in the House of Lords of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Barwell, for whom I had great respect when we served together in Croydon some years ago.
I think it is important that old arguments are not rerun in this debate: wherever one stands in relation to the 2016 referendum and subsequent debates, we are now where we are. I suspect, however, that it remains important for certain matters of principle to be rearticulated even at this stage, as the record will need to be clear when the history comes to be written, not least regarding the wisdom of writing into law hard deadlines for an implementation period. Do we not have anything to learn from recent history?
Continue reading “European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill: Bishop of Leeds says manner of withdrawal “will say something powerful about who we think we are””
On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, opened the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the subjects of culture, language and foreign affairs:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, following the last debate on Iran, I think it is wise to take a step back from the detail, to which we shall shortly return, to consider culture and principle.
Twenty-twenty vision is something that, if claimed, proves only that the claimant is deluded. However, leaving fantasists to one side for a moment, we might take some wisdom from the late former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Schmidt. At the age of 91, he wrote a book called Ausser Dienst, or “out of office”, in which he advises young Germans considering a career in politics not to do so unless they speak at least two foreign languages to a competent degree. His reason? You can only understand your own culture if you look at it through the eyes of another culture, and to do that you need language; some things cannot be translated.
Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds responds to Queen’s Speech on inter-connectedness in foreign policy”