On the 10th March 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in a short debate on the BBC Charter Review. He expanded on these remarks in a subsequent blog post.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the BBC has three core purposes: to inform, to educate and to entertain. Will the Minister comment on a fourth purpose, which is to interpret? Diversity has been perceived in terms of regional diversity when one could also say that ethnic and religious diversity in the country need to be taken more seriously. Religion is a primary motivator of individuals and communities, inspiring and informing their political, economic, ethical and social behaviour.
It needs to be interpreted. What the world looks like when seen through a particular religious lens needs to be taken more seriously. In July 2015, Ofcom expressed concern about the diminution of attention to religion in the BBC. Can the Minister assure us that this will be taken more seriously in the charter renewal? Continue reading “Interpreting and explaining religion should be a key role of BBC, Bishop of Leeds tells Peers”
On 14th January 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, led a short debate in the House of Lords on flood management. His speech and the Government response is below. The full text of the debate, including a speech by the Bishop of St Albans, can be read here.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to review their long term strategy for flood management, particularly in rural areas that do not qualify for large-scale flood defences.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to put to the Government the Question before us. If there was a sound track to this debate it would probably include Phil Collins’s “In Too Deep”.
It is important to note the destructiveness of the recent flooding, given that the news agenda moves on very quickly and communities which found themselves at the heart of a sympathetic nation quickly feel themselves to be forgotten. For some of the communities in my diocese, the recent floods come in the wake—almost literally—of other occurrences in recent years. For them the need for longer-term and more joined-up measures is obvious.
I pay tribute to civic leaders, emergency services, public service workers, members of the Armed Forces, the Environment Agency and local volunteers, many of whom sacrificed holidays and family time over Christmas to support victims of this appallingly destructive flooding. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds leads debate on national response to flooding”
On 14th January 2016 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Turnberg “that this House takes note of the ability of the National Health Service to meet present and future demands.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate. Much of what I was going to say has been said and I do not intend to repeat it. I have surveyed some of the National Health Service foundation trusts in my diocese and there are common threads, both of opportunity and concern: financial, operational and clinical. Yet it ought to be said that some of the administrations of these health services are doing heroic work at a time of enormous complexity and constraint. Again, as has been said about the need to raise morale among staff, we should at least thank and congratulate those who are making the system work despite the challenges. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds praises “heroic” work of NHS staff in Lords health debate”
On 9th December 2015 Lord Grantchester asked Her Majesty’s Government “what emergency measures they are considering to support the emergency services and local communities affected by flooding in Cumbria.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, what cognisance is taken by the Government of the stochastic modelling performed by the insurance industry and how many one-in-100-years events it takes for something to cease to be a one-in-100-years event?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, I am sure that the right reverend Prelate will appreciate that this is probably a matter for God because every time that we have tried to predict, an even worse event has occurred. I do not make that point lightly. We are constantly reviewing the flood defences and how we can respond.
On 23rd November 2015 the House of Lords heard repeated the Government’s statement on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Minister agree with me that some of the language we are using in this debate reflects an assumption that the world is binary and divided into allies and enemies? The reality is that allies become enemies, and enemies become allies. In any strategic approach to the future, could we be assured that that possibility will be taken into account? I worked on elements to do with Iraq in the 1980s, and we can see what happened in the 2000s.
Arms and resources that we sell to people who are rebels in Syria can then be used against us. Is that sort of strategic thinking about a non-binary, more eclectic world being taken into consideration?
Continue reading “Defence review – Bishop of Leeds responds”
“Give a voice to the experience of those who otherwise are silenced. This is why the Lords spiritual are here, rooted in communities across the whole of our country, networked internationally, informed, often inconveniently and compelled to tell the truth as they see it. I hope to fulfil this vocation with the humility and confidence that it surely demands”. – Bishop of Leeds, 1/6/15
On 1st June 2015 the Bishop of Leeds spoke for the first time in the House of Lords. In his address, which came during the debate on the Queen’s Speech, he spoke of his background in the Church of England, his diocese, constitutional change, Europe and how economic and devolution proposals might impact on places such as Bradford. The full text is below and can also be watched online here.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate, especially given the kindness I have already met in this House since being introduced in February. I wish to express my gratitude to all sides of the House for the welcome I have received and particularly to the staff, who have assisted and advised me, sometimes on the same issue more than once. This coming Saturday I will be speaking in Stuttgart before thousands of people along with Kofi Annan and the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. At least today I can address this House in English. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds makes first speech in the House of Lords – constitution, devolution, economy”
On Thursday 5th February, Nicholas Baines, Lord Bishop of Leeds, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Carlisle, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.
The full procedure for introduction of Lords Spiritual to the House of Lords is set out in the House of Lords Companion to Standing Orders, which can be read here.