On 16th July 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion by Lord Alton of Liverpool, “that this House takes note of worldwide violations of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the case for greater priority to be given by the United Kingdom and the international community to upholding freedom of religion and belief.” During the debate the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Revd Tim Stevens, gave his final speech before his retirement. A video of his speech can also be viewed here. Extracts from the speeches of other members taking part in the debate, paying tribute to the Bishop of Leicester, are also included below.
“A no vote on the EU would hasten the demise of the Union and lead within a generation to a rump nation shorn of Scotland and of membership of the EU and without strategic influence internationally.”- Bishop of Leicester, 1/6/15
On 1st June 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, on constitutional, human rights, local government, devolution and welfare reform issues. The full text of his speech is below and it can also be watched online here.
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer, has reminded us, the Prime Minister has offered us what he calls,
“a clear programme for working people, social justice, and bringing our country together—put simply, a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government”.
“We know that transitioning to adulthood is challenging and demanding for all young people today, but how much more so for care leavers” – Bishop of Leicester, 12/3/15.
On 12th March 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in a debate tabled by Baroness Eaton, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.”
On 11th March the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens took part in three Divisions of the House on amendments to the Government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill during its Report Stage in the Lords.
On 10th March 2015 Lord Touhig asked Her Majesty’s Government “how many people are awaiting assessment for personal independence payments?” The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, can the Minister tell us how many 16 and 17 year-olds are awaiting reassessment? What action do the Government propose to take to meet the additional needs of that group, including providing support for them through the reassessment process?
Lord Freud: I will have to write to the right reverend Prelate on that matter. I do not have the data on 16 and 17 year-olds so I shall write to him.
On 12th February 2015, the House of Lords debated the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill at Second Reading. The Bill will bring forward the time at which the first female diocesan bishops can sit as Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords. Speaking just prior to the ‘winding up’ of the debate, the Bishop of Leicester responded to a small number of questions raised in the course of the debate: The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, I know I speak for all of us on this Bench in wanting to express our appreciation to your Lordships’ House for the serious, thoughtful and supportive way that your Lordships have considered this legislation, and to rehearse the most reverend Primate’s appreciation to the Government and Opposition Benches, and to the usual channels, for making it possible for the Bill to reach this stage so quickly. Continue reading “Bishop of Leicester: Lords Spritual (Women) Bill to serve “interests of the nation””
On 29th January 2015, The Earl of Courtown asked Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to ensure that the benefits of lower oil prices are passed on to consumers, particularly in rural areas. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, will the Minister tell us what Her Majesty’s Government are doing to ensure that those on low incomes and living in the coldest homes are able to benefit from renewable heating technologies?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate for his question, because this Government have, through many measures, not only tried to respond to people living in very inefficient homes in urban areas, but also looked at how to reach out to people who are often off grid and help support them through the renewable heat incentive and other measures. I am very happy to write to the right reverend Prelate about a number of measures undertaken by this Government.
On 28th January, Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty’s Government what are the conditions which must be met before a new state-funded faith school or free school is allowed to be established; who sets and agrees the conditions; and how the conditions must guarantee a broad and balanced curriculum for pupils. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, does the Minister agree that “faith school” covers a variety of different kinds of institution? Church of England schools are not faith schools in the narrow sense of providing an education for people of just one faith. In places such as Leicester they provide a rounded education for the whole community, including many of other faiths who value highly what they have to offer.
Lord Nash: I agree entirely with the right reverend Prelate. Many church schools are highly inclusive. A study by the University of York undertaken in 2009 praised the record of church schools on community cohesion.
On 27th January 2015, Baroness Quin asked Her Majesty’s Government what recent assistance they have given to the rescue and recovery of the Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, will the Minister join me in expressing his appreciation of those moderate Muslims who have spoken out in this country against Boko Haram and in emphasising the continuing need to be proactive in drawing together those communities that would easily find themselves pitched against each other in our towns and cities?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I will happily join in that. Boko Haram has almost certainly killed more Muslims than it has Christians. It is very much a radical Muslim movement, which is as opposed to the Sultanate of Sokoto and the moderate Muslims in the north as it is to others.