On 19th March 2020 the Home Secretary made a statement on the publication of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. The statement was repeated in the House of Lords and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, responded:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the publication of this Statement is very welcome indeed. The heartfelt nature of the apology was notable.
I have a couple of questions about the recommendations to put to the noble Baroness. First, one of the historic failures of the Church of England—in many ways as bad as the hostile environment—was the terrible reception that we gave the Windrush generation, the vast majority of whom were Anglicans, when they came here. They were often turned away from Church of England churches, or were given a very weak welcome or no welcome at all. As a result, they went off and formed their own churches, which have flourished much better than ours. We would be so much stronger had we behaved correctly. I have apologised for that, and I continue to do so and see the wickedness of our actions. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Home Office Windrush Lessons Report”
On 12th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Kate Green MP on Gypsy and Traveller sites and plans to tackle racism:
Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) 27547: To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on (a) making Church land available for Gypsy and Traveller sites and (b) other plans to tackle racism and discrimination as agreed at the General Synod in February 2019.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: Travellers, plans to tackle racism”
On 25th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Whittaker, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to implement the recommendations of the report by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, published on 5 April 2019.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, Gypsy, Roma and Travelling communities face a great deal of marginalisation, which is why I am so grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker—a redoubtable and feisty campaigner in this area—who keeps bringing this before us. I thank her for that. I am glad that we are raising this issue yet again in your Lordships’ House. She has quoted some of the many stats; I can add a few more and I guess that we will all add a few as we go along.
We know that 90% of Traveller children face racial abuse. The Government’s race audit showed that GRT pupils
“had the lowest attainment of all ethnic groups”.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans to address low achievement of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in schools”
On 11th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on plans to tackle antisemitism. The response, his follow-up question and those of other Members is below:
Hate Crime: Anti-Semitism
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to address antisemitic hate crime.
Baroness Berridge (Con): My Lords, the Government are committed to combating all forms of antisemitism. Our cross-party working group ensures that we are alive to Jewish community concerns and can respond effectively, alongside the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Mann, as our independent adviser. We have spent nearly £860,000 this year on projects tackling religiously and racially motivated hatred, including almost £150,000 to tackle anti-Semitism online.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer. According to the Community Security Trust, the number of anti-Semitic instances has risen for each of the past four years. It is a growing problem. We in the churches have been exploring with Jewish groups any role that we may have played in the past with any stereotyping. Recently, the entire College of Bishops of the Church of England signed up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Education will be key. I am grateful for what the noble Baroness has said, but can she tell us not only about the funds but which projects and resources Her Majesty’s Government are making available so that we can address, through education, the stereotyping and the troping of Jewish people to address this scourge.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans to tackle antisemitic hate crime”
On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government, about racial discrimination and the Uyghur people:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL72 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement delivered by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN at the Third Committee session on the Committee for the elimination of racial discrimination and the conclusions of the United Nations on the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjang. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of Uyghur people in China”
On 15th October 2019 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Baroness Barran, repeated a Government statement about racism in football. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, it is very clear that what we saw in that match yesterday is just part of a much wider issue around the rise of far-right fascism in eastern European countries. Are the Government paying attention to that, and to the context in which this particular phenomenon in football fits in? Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds says far-right fascism behind rising racism at football matches”
On 18th February 2019 Baroness Chakrabarti asked the Government “what progress has been made in meeting the recommendation of the Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, published in February 1999, that schools record all racist incidents and that the numbers of racist incidents are published annually on a school by school basis.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that the Church of England is responsible for many schools where the majority of pupils are from a BME background. Those schools operate in great harmony. That is along with our initiative, Living Well Together. It would be good to hear more about how the DfE makes use of the information and statistics that it receives. There is an issue about holding the whole estate accountable, which cannot be left entirely to the local situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about racist incidents in schools”