Domestic Abuse Bill: Bishop of Manchester presses Government on financial support for those fleeing domestic abuse

On 8th March 2021 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill at its Report Stage. The Bishop of Manchester had co-sponsored amendments with two other Peers, on exempting from the benefit cap for a year all those forced to claim benefits because of domestic abuse. The Government Minister responded to say that guidance would be strengthened to local authorities that those fleeing domestic abuse should be given priority in receiving discretionary housing payments. 
The Lord Bishop of Manchester [V]: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her response to this group of amendments, in particular to Amendments 72 and 102, to which I have added my name. I also thank her for her reassurance that local authorities will be given clear encouragement to prioritise the needs of domestic abuse victims, as the noble Lord, Lord Best, requested.
Can she ensure that national statistics on the number of such cases accepted and rejected in each year will be counted and made public?

Votes: EU (Future Relationship) Bill

On 30th December 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s European Union (Future Relationship) Bill at all stages. Three votes were held on the Bill, in which bishops took part:

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Votes: Trade Bill

On 7th December the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Trade Bill. Three votes on amendments were held in which Lords Spiritual took part. All three amendments were passed:

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Vote: Motion to approve report on conduct and suspension of Lord Maginnis

On 7th December the House of Lords voted on a Motion to approve a Report on the conduct of Lord Maginnis, a Member of the House.  A vote for approval would also require the suspension of the Member. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Manchester took part:

Votes: UK Internal Market Bill

On 9th November 2020 the House of Lords debated and voted on the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill during its Committee stage. A cross-party group of Peers, including the Bishop of Leeds, had tabled motions that all the clauses of Part 5 of the Bill, which covered Northern Ireland, international law, and executive powers,  should not remain in the Bill. These successfully passed by large majorities across two votes. Nine bishops took part in the votes. Continue reading “Votes: UK Internal Market Bill”

Bishop of Manchester calls for respect towards local Manchester leaders in covid discussions with Government

On 22nd October 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Ministerial statement to MPs on Covid-19. The BIshop of Manchester raised the need for restoration of trust between Ministers and community leaders in Manchester:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester [V]: My Lords, the Greater Manchester tier 3 proposals were the main UK news item across our broadcasting media for at least a week. However, to the best of my knowledge, at no time did senior members of Her Majesty’s Government come to Manchester to meet its people, hear its voices and seek to reach an agreement face to face with our civic leaders. Moreover, yesterday the Manchester Evening News published a story claiming that senior leaders logged into one crucial meeting only to discover that the Government side had set up controls that did not allow members to unmute themselves. It then allegedly used that facility to prevent voices being heard. Continue reading “Bishop of Manchester calls for respect towards local Manchester leaders in covid discussions with Government”

Votes: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

On 21st October 2020 three votes were held on the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. Members of the Lords were asked to agree with the decisions of the Commons to reject amendments they had passed to the Bill, or to propose further amendments in lieu of them. Several bishops took part:
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Vote: UK Internal Market Bill motion to regret

On Tuesday 20th October a vote was taken on a Motion to Regret on the Government’s United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. Seven bishops voted for the Motion:
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Bishop of Manchester calls on Government to improve its messaging on coronavirus regulations

On 25th September 2020 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020. The Bishop of Manchester, Rt Revd David Walker, spoke in the debate, stressing the need to learn from the mistakes of announcements about previous Regulations, which had been misleading to those local communities affected.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester [V]: My Lords, I declare my interest as set out in the register, as chair of Operation Talla, the independent ethics panel.

I speak in respect of those regulations imposed on Greater Manchester and other areas which came into effect in early August. I entirely support the practice of focusing restrictions on those geographical areas and types of gathering that are disproportionately driving levels of coronavirus infection. Furthermore, along with many other local leaders in my areas, I believe that the restrictions imposed in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gathering) (North of England) Regulations 2020 (No. 828) were proportionate to the risks identified at the time. I thank the Government for introducing them.

However, I have serious reservations about the process leading up to these regulations coming into effect. In a statement made just after 9 pm on Thursday 30 July, the Secretary of State gave a clear indication that the new measures would come into force at midnight. Specifically, he stated that the restrictions would come as a blow to those intending to mark the Muslim festival of Eid ul Adha the following day. Continue reading “Bishop of Manchester calls on Government to improve its messaging on coronavirus regulations”

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill: Bishop of Manchester makes maiden speech

On 21st September 2020 the Bishop of Manchester, Rt Revd David Walker, made his maiden speech in the House of Lords during the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester (Maiden Speech) [V]: My Lords, I begin by expressing my thanks to the parliamentary staff and fellow Members of this House, who have both welcomed me and helped me understand something of the workings of this place. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Vaizey, on his excellent and entertaining maiden speech reminding us of the importance of rehabilitation—not only for sacked ​government Ministers. I declare my interest as chair of the Greater Manchester police’s Ethics Committee, which is recorded in the register.

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