Bishop of Peterborough asks about human rights abuses in North Korea

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On the 26th June 2017, Lord Alton asked ‘what action they are taking, in collaboration with the International Criminal Court, or through the creation of appropriate tribunals, to bring to justice perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity’. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister asked a further question relating to North Korea.

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Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, in 2014 the United Nations commission on human rights abuses in North Korea declared that these were without parallel in the modern world, citing numerous cases of murder, rape and disappearances. Yet nothing has been brought to the international court or to any other regional tribunal. Why is nobody being held accountable? Continue reading

Bishop of Peterborough raises concerns about changes to bereavement benefits for parents of children

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On 6th April 2017 Baroness Altmann asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they will reconsider changes to bereavement benefits for parents with dependent children.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question. The Bishop had been amongst the signatories of a letter from all sides of the House calling on the Government to reconsider its proposals.

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I too signed the letter to the Secretary of State. I fully accept that the system needed reform, but those of us who spend a lot of time looking after people in bereavement know that a widowed parent may sometimes have to spend several years giving considerable extra time, attention and care to the children. In practice, that may necessitate working only part-time for a number of years while children are still at home. Previously in this House there was an assurance that income-related benefits would be there to support such parents, but under universal credit that is not so simple. Can the Minister reassure us that bereaved parents will not be subject to the in-work conditionality requirements that apply under universal credit? Continue reading

Bishop of Peterborough asks about long term support to rebuild Syria

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PeterboroughFeb2017aOn 5th April 2017, Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they are intending to respond to the chemical attack seemingly carried out by the Syrian Government on civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question about future international efforts to rebuild Syria after peace is secured in the area.

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough My Lords, as the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday, we on these Benches mourn with the people of Idlib and we pray for justice and an end to violence. However, if and when peace is finally secured in the region, the scale of suffering and damage experienced by the people of Syria over the past six years will demand enormous and costly international effort if Syria is to be rebuilt. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit not just to supporting the people of Syria in the short term but to supporting the decades-long process of restoration that will inevitably be needed once the present crisis is over? Continue reading

Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about progress towards eradicating leprosy

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14.02 PeterboroughOn the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman tabled a debate in the House of Lords, asking the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, highlighted the lack of progress towards the eradication of leprosy. Lord Bates responded on behalf of the Department for International Development.
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Criminal Finances Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendment on tax transparency

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14.02 PeterboroughOn the 3rd April 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill in Committee. Baroness Stern moved an amendment  requiring public registers of beneficial ownership of companies in the Overseas Territories. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was withdrawn after the debate


The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I support the amendment. I also support the Bill and I am grateful for it.

I particularly support and follow a point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Stern, about this being a moral issue. I refer to Amendment 167. This time last year, shortly after the publication of the Panama Papers, there was a question in the House about this issue. I asked a supplementary and was assured by the then Minister that this was seen by the Government as a moral issue. It is important that we hold to that. Continue reading

Bishop of Peterborough asks whether Government is addressing China’s North Korean refugee policy

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14.02 PeterboroughOn 28th February, Lord Alton of Liverpool asked the Government,  in the light of the sanctions imposed by China against North Korea following the assassination of Kim Jong-nam and the recent ballistic missile test, whether they will call in the North Korean Ambassador. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question about the Government’s engagement with China over their policy to return North Korean refugees to the country.  Continue reading