The Bishop of Leeds asked a question on the effect ongoing issues with Russia might have on conflict resolution in Armenia and Azerbaijan, during a debate on the aftermath of the Khojaly massacare and the situation in the latter two countries on 17th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that answer. I wonder if I can tempt him to comment on the role of Russia in the current situation. Do the wider problems with Russia make it more or less likely that a solution might be found in Azerbaijan and Armenia?
The Bishop of Derby asked a question on the use of depleted uranium shells by British armed forces, during a debate on the supply of these shells to Ukraine on 30th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: Does the Minister agree that, whatever legitimate concerns people may have about the health and environmental impact of uranium-depleted shells, which I personally share, President Putin’s claim that he is looking to store tactical nuclear missiles in Belarus because the West is collectively beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component is utterly bogus, given that British forces have been using these armour-piercing shells legally for several decades, in accordance with Article 36 of the 1977 protocol additional to the Geneva conventions?
Lord Harlech (Con): I completely agree with the right reverend Prelate.
On 9th February 2023, the House of Lords debated a motion to take note of the current situation in Ukraine, following Ukrainian president Zelensky’s vist to the UK. The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham spoke in the debate, urging that efforts remain focused on supporting Ukrainians in the UK and supporting Ukraine’s own defence, while pressing for clarity on the government’s expectations of the future of the conflict:
The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham: My Lords, like others in this House I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Goldie, for tabling this debate. I wish to convey the apologies of my most reverend friend the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, having recently travelled to Kyiv, wished to take part in this debate but is detained by the business of the General Synod. He will follow the deliberations closely in Hansard. My most reverend friend and several others from these Benches took time away from the General Synod yesterday and were delighted to join Members of both Houses to hear the President of Ukraine address us.
I count it a privilege and not a little daunting to precede the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Soames, whose insight and wisdom on the matters before us are truly formidable. On behalf of the Lords Spiritual, I look forward to listening to and learning from his contributions to the work of the House in the coming days.
The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on the government’s assessment of Russia’s use of drone attacks in Ukraine on 29th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Russia’s use of drone attacks against Ukraine.
Baroness Goldie (Con): My Lords, Russia’s forces are resorting to striking Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure, especially the power grid. It should be noted that these facilities have no direct military role, but the impact is multiplying the misery of ordinary Ukrainian citizens. Notably, these strikes are partially being conducted by one-way-attack unmanned aerial vehicles—so-called kamikaze drones. These weapons are being provided by Iran, another sign of the strategic degradation of Russia’s military.
The Bishop of Leeds asked a question regarding the government’s response to money laundering relating to Russia, during a debate on Russian activities in Georgia on 16th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, referring back to the original Question, have the Government made any assessment of how corrupt wealth is being laundered to get around sanctions in Russia by pushing the money through places such as Georgia?
The Bishop of Leeds received the following written answers on 7th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made (1) of Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s power infrastructure, and (2) of the prospects of further large-scale refugee flows from Ukraine.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The UK condemns Russia’s intentional bombing of Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure, which is causing widespread destruction.
The Bishop of Coventry asked a question regarding responses to the annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia during a debate on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine on 12th October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I look forward to the forthcoming public vote at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian territories and, I understand, calling for a negotiated settlement. That will pass easily but, despite these recent indiscriminate attacks, as the Secretary-General described them, it looks likely that there will be a large number of abstentions from the majority of the developing world. Can the Minister say why so many countries remain non-aligned and what steps are being taken to address their concerns? In that context, would she accept that, with so many developing countries feeling the impact of the war, the Government should not look to balance their own books by cutting the aid budget further?
On 11th October 2022, The Bishop of Coventry asked a question concerning potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine and the impact this would have on the future spread of nuclear weapons:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, what is the Government’s assessment of the impact of the present threat and the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons on the wider non-proliferation regime? What measures are they taking to strengthen the long-term resilience of that regime, together with the Article 6 commitments of the NPT?
The Bishop of Coventry received the following written answers on 10th October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the clashes along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan which began on 12 September; and what representations they have made to the governments of those countries in relation to (1) the exercise of restraint, and (2) the observation of agreements which ended the 2020 Nagorno–Karabakh war.
On 21st July 2022 the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Rt Revd Paul Williams, delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords during Lord Alton’s debate, “that this House takes note of (1) the impact of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports on food insecurity in developing countries, and (2) its contribution to the danger of famine in (a) the Horn of Africa, and (b) East Africa.”
The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by thanking fellow Members for their gracious welcome and expressing my gratitude to the parliamentary staff and officers who have so kindly supported my introduction to the House.
It is an honour to make this maiden speech in such an important debate, which focuses so clearly on the needs of the most vulnerable: those affected by the sudden steep rise in global food prices resulting from Russia’s terrible war and blockade in Ukraine. I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, both for bringing this debate to the House and for his long record of campaigning advocacy on behalf of those whose suffering is too often overlooked.
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