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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Bishop of Manchester joins House of Lords

On Monday 7th September 2020 the Bishop of Manchester, Rt Revd David Walker, took his oath to become a Member of the House of Lords, joining the Lords Spiritual on the Bishops’ Benches. Bishop David was supported by his two sponsors the Bishops of Birmingham and Worcester, in an introduction ceremony that was modified to accommodate social distancing rules in Parliament.

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Archive speech: Rowan Williams vs the Supercasino

“Institutions that can encourage criminality and intensify irresponsibility are poor allies of social and civic regeneration.” – Most Rev and Rt Hon Rowan Williams, 28/3/07

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Most Rev & Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury & Lord Spiritual, 2002-12

In March 2007 the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out in the House of Lords against the proposal to issue a licence for a new kind of ‘supercasino’ in Manchester. In the subsequent vote he and two other bishops voted against; the proposal to issue the licence being rejected by  majority of three. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister a few months later the plan to pilot the supercasino was scrapped. Continue reading “Archive speech: Rowan Williams vs the Supercasino”

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