Bishop of St Albans asks about Gambling Act white paper

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 21st November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government when the Gambling Act white paper will be published.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): The Gambling Act Review is an extensive, evidence-led review, which aims to ensure gambling regulation is fit for the digital age. We will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming weeks.

Hansard

House of Lords (Peerage Nominations) Bill: Bishop of St Albans speaks in support of bill

On 18th November 2022, the House of Lords debated the House of Lords (Peerage Nominations) Bill in its second reading. The Bishop of St Albans spoke in support of the bill:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, there have been a number of occasions in recent years when this House has debated its make-up, its processes of nomination and its role. The test of any Bill to reform aspects of the House of Lords is surely whether it will enhance the core functions of this House; namely, to revise, to scrutinise and to ensure that the membership retains significant independence and expertise. A further useful test is whether the proposed changes are simply a response to some current problems or whether they have the potential to enhance the work of the Lords in the long term. It seems to me that, unless we are going to go for something very radical and different, this Bill meets these tests. It is modest in its proposals but I believe it is worthy of support none the less. It comes in a long line of incremental but sensible and pragmatic changes to Lords procedure and practice. I suggest that the history of Lords reform shows that incremental change tends to be the most successful.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about NHS gambling clinics

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 18th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government how many more NHS gambling clinics are being planned; and where those clinics will be situated.

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Bishop of St Albans leads debate on human rights abuses in China

The Bishop of St Albans tabled a question for short debate in Grand Committee on 17th November 2022, concerning reports of human rights abuses in China:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of allegations of human rights abuses in China.

My Lords, I approach this debate with a great deal of reticence and, indeed, almost reluctance. I have long admired China and the Chinese people, although one should of course acknowledge that the population of China is made up of 56 different ethnic groups. I have long admired their ancient civilisation. Not only is China a country of great natural beauty; it is the nation that invented the compass, gunpowder, paper, moveable-type printing, kites, fireworks, silk, tea and porcelain, to name a few. I will perhaps omit noodles from my list of admirable inventions. My Chinese friends are among some of the most educated, industrious and cultured people I know. China is the fourth-largest country by land mass and has the largest population of any country in the world. Over many decades, we have developed extensive trade links with China, and it is in its interests and ours for us to share in commerce and seek to find common cause for the good of the world.

Yet I feel I cannot remain silent in the face of such a wide range of human rights abuses. Lying behind our profound differences is a vast cultural gulf that was laid bare most recently for me when I read President Xi’s speech at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party last month. He said:

“We will … continue to take the correct and distinctively Chinese approach to handling ethnic affairs … We will remain committed to the principle that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt to socialist society.”

He also said:

“We have effectively contained ethnic separatists, religious extremists, and violent terrorists”.

To those here who are familiar with China’s history of human rights abuses, these are worrying words.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about changes in international stock markets

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked a question about the stock market in Paris overtaking the London stock market on 17th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Paris overtaking London as Europe’s most valuable stock market.

Baroness Penn (Con): My Lords, according to the Global Financial Centres Index, London is the second highest-ranked financial centre in the world after New York, while Paris is 10th. The UK continues to be the pre-eminent financial centre for derivatives and foreign exchange trading. In all equities instruments, the UK almost doubles France’s total market capitalisation at $6.2 trillion. To support the UK’s competitiveness, the Government are undertaking ambitious reforms to keep pace with innovation.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about gambling treatment in NHS clinics

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 17th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government how many patients have been treated in the NHS gambling clinics in (1) London, (2) Leeds, (3) Manchester, and (4) Sunderland, in the past year.

Lord Markham (Con): This information is not currently collected in the format requested.

Hansard

Bishop of St Albans asks about energy costs for farming businesses and alternative fuel users

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 17th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 31 October (HL2654), what specific provisions the Energy Bill Relief Scheme contains to support farming businesses; and what estimate they have made of the impact of that scheme on farming businesses.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about NHS treatment of young people with gambling related issues

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 16th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government how many young people have been treated in the NHS national children and young person’s pilot gambling clinic in the past year, broken down by (1) age, and (2) the region of the country they live in.

Lord Markham (Con): This information is not collected centrally in the format requested.

Hansard

Bishop of St Albans asks about cold weather payments

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 16th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 27 October (HL2653), on what basis they can provide for the Cold Weather Payment being £25; when they undertook their last review into the appropriateness of that figure; and what assessment they have made of the efficacy of a one-off payment for those eligible for the Cold Weather Payment.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about sources of international climate finance

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about how international climate finances are allocated during a debate on the government’s COP27 Statement on 15th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, is the Minister able to confirm that the pledges for international climate finance are not being taken from the ODA (Official Development Assistance) budgets?

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