Votes: Domestic Abuse Bill

On 8th March 2021 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill at its Report Stage.

Five bishops took part in a vote on an amendment from Baronesss Campbell of Surbiton on including carers or those with “personally connected lives” in the scope of the Bill to prevent abuse by a care giver. Continue reading “Votes: Domestic Abuse Bill”

Bishop of Worcester raises need for more family foster care provision

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question he had tabled of Government on teenagers and older children in care.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of provision for teenagers in the care system.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Department for International Trade
(Baroness Berridge) (Con): My Lords, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Government have worked closely with local authorities to help ensure that they continue to meet their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in care, with particular regard to their education, health and well-being. Some £4.6 billion of funding has been made available to support councils, with a further £1.55 billion announced as part of the spending review.

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and for the good work that has been done. However, I am concerned that Barnardo’s declared a state of emergency in June last year as a result of a 44% increase in the number of children needing foster care referred to it. According to one investigation, more than 8,300 children were placed in unregulated, semi-independent accommodation last year. Many of those—more than one-third—were outside their local authority area. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that teenagers and older children in care are offered family-based provision, where they are more likely to thrive?

Bishop of Worcester calls for targeted sanctions against those responsible for military coup in Myanmar

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of Worcester received a written answer to a question on targeted sanctions against the Myanmar regime:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to imposing targeted sanctions against those responsible for the military coup in Myanmar. [HL13549]

Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester calls for targeted sanctions against those responsible for military coup in Myanmar”

Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid

On 30th December the Bishop of Worcester received written answers to five questions on Government plans to reduce the overseas aid budget:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to consult with (1) civil society, (2) faith groups, and (3) other humanitarian actors, before drafting any legislation to amend the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015. [HL11257] Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid”

Votes: Trade Bill

On 7th December the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Trade Bill. Three votes on amendments were held in which Lords Spiritual took part. All three amendments were passed:

Continue reading “Votes: Trade Bill”

Bishop of Worcester calls for national child poverty strategy

On 7th December 2020 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question of Government on social mobility and the need for a national child poverty strategy:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester [V]: My Lords, I speak today on behalf of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Newcastle, who has been delayed travelling to London. Like her, I am very aware of the relationship between child poverty and a lack of social mobility, but she has a special interest as independent chair of the North of Tyne Inclusive Economy Board. Child poverty is central to the Government’s levelling-up agenda. Since 35% of children in the north-east of England live in relative poverty, would the Minister tell us if Her Majesty’s Government will work with the Social Mobility Commission to develop a national child poverty strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic?

Bishop of Worcester says Government aid cut is a broken promise to the poorest

On 25th November 2020 the House of Lords asked questions of Government on its abandonment of the legal commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid. The Bishop of Worcester highlighted the many pledges made to protect this, which had now been broken:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester [V]: My Lords, the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto said:

“We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on development”.

That was before Covid, of course. On 16 June, the Prime Minister said in the other place that spending 0.7% remained the Government’s commitment.

On 18 June, the Leader of the House reassured the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Peterborough of the Government’s continued commitment to the 0.7% target.

In this House on 2 September, the noble Baroness, Lady Sugg, reassured the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol, with these words:

“I assure her that we will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act”.—[Official Report, 2/9/20; col. 354.]

In a letter to the Prime Minister last week, I drew attention to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words:

“A promise to the poor is particularly sacred.”

Does the Minister agree with him? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester says Government aid cut is a broken promise to the poorest”

Votes: UK Internal Market Bill

On 9th November 2020 the House of Lords debated and voted on the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill during its Committee stage. A cross-party group of Peers, including the Bishop of Leeds, had tabled motions that all the clauses of Part 5 of the Bill, which covered Northern Ireland, international law, and executive powers,  should not remain in the Bill. These successfully passed by large majorities across two votes. Nine bishops took part in the votes. Continue reading “Votes: UK Internal Market Bill”

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:
Continue reading “Votes: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill”

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:
Continue reading “Vote: UK Internal Market Bill motion to regret”