Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what they are doing to combat hate speech online

On 15th March 2018 the Bishop of Gloucester asked a question she had tabled to Government on online hate speech. The exchanges are below, including the follow-up questions asked by other Members.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to combat hate speech online.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): My Lords, this Government abhor all forms of hate speech. It is clear that what is illegal offline is also illegal online. That is why we are taking a cross-government approach through the hate crime action plan, which will be refreshed this year. We are funding an online hate crime hub, building digital resilience and have successfully worked with industry and partners internationally to agree the removal of illegal content within 24 hours.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, we know that websites and apps have brought many benefits, but at a cost. From my own visits to schools, I am particularly concerned about the hate speech that young people are exposed to online, including through anonymous apps like Sarahah. What are the Government doing to ensure that the age verification checks on apps are effective? How are the Government working with smaller developers to ensure that their platforms are not used to propagate threats and hate speech? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what they are doing to combat hate speech online”

Bishop of Winchester asks about apprenticeships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

On 20th February 2018 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Rev Tim Dakin, asked a question he had tabled to Government about apprenticeships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The exchange with the Minister and subsequent questions from other Members are below:

Bishop of Gloucester highlights needs of vulnerable young people moving into adulthood

On 29th June 2017 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, spoke during the final day’s debate on the Queen’s Speech. She highlighted the situation of vulnerable young people moving into adulthood, as care leavers, carers, refugees, those with disabilities and those in prison.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I will highlight something that I believe needs careful consideration as we think about education, health and welfare. It is the matter of vulnerable young people making the transition to adulthood. I am grateful for the aspirations I have heard to support families and give children the best start in life. As we strive for the fairness and flourishing of all, I am concerned that we have yet to see any emphasis on our most vulnerable young people as they move into adulthood. I would particularly like to draw the Government’s attention to five specific groups who need help as they transition to adult life: young people leaving care; young people who are carers themselves; young people with severe disability; young people who are refugees and asylum seekers; and young women at risk of offending and being imprisoned. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester highlights needs of vulnerable young people moving into adulthood”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support to address self-harm by young people

stalbans190117-bOn 9th February 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Massey of Darwen “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take in the light of the Association for Young People’s Health briefing There for you which discusses the role of parents in supporting young people with mental health problems.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, there are few more urgent issues in modern Britain than the state of mental health among our young people, and I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, for tabling this important debate. Referrals to specialist mental health services have risen dramatically in recent years as increasing social pressures on our young people threaten the mental health of a generation. Issues around body image are one area of particular concern, fuelled in part by the rise of social media. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Gloucester for her important work around body image and self-worth. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support to address self-harm by young people”

Bishop of St Albans questions Government about underage online gambling

St Albans 2On the 12th January 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a question in the Lords about underage gambling online. Lord Ashton of Hyde responded for the Government. Those exchanges and the follow-up questions of Peers are reproduced below:

 The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to tackle the prevalence of underage gambling online, in the light of the Gambling Commission’s report Young People and Gambling 2016.

Bishop of St Albans raises serious need to address self harm amongst children and young people

On 6th December 2016, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke to a question he had tabled to ask the Government “what assessment they have made of the rise in the number of children and young people being treated for self-harm.” Lord Prior of Brampton responded for the Government. The Bishops’ follow-up question and those of Peers are reproduced below. 

StAlbans171115The Lord Bishop of St Albans To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the rise in the number of children and young people being treated for self-harm.

Lord Prior of Brampton My Lords, the Government are aware of the appalling rise in self-harm in children and young people and the misery this reflects. The Government are also acutely aware that self-harm is a leading indicator of risk of suicide and recognise that much more needs to be done to address this issue.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans I thank the Minister for his reply. The research from the World Health Organization shows that around 20% of British 15 year-olds report some sort of self-harm. In the past five years, research shows that hospital admissions associated with self-harm have gone up by nearly 93% among girls and 45% among boys. Having recently visited the outstanding charity selfharmUK, in Luton in my diocese, I have seen what a concerted and systematic approach to this problem can have on a very difficult issue, and we need something similar at a national level. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit to publishing guidelines for schools and colleges about preventing and responding to self-harm?

Bishop of London asks Government to work with church schools on youth volunteering

Bp London 131015On 11th July 2016, Lord O’Shaughnessy asked the Government “what steps they are taking to promote long-term, full-time volunteering among young people.” The Bishop of London, the Rt Hon and Rt Revd Richard Chartres, asked a supplementary question:


The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, bearing in mind the more than 1 million young people—ethnically very diverse and from every part of the country—in Church of England schools, will the Minister authorise a direct conversation with the national society about the virtues of volunteering, with a view to joint action, a joint strategy and disseminating good practice? Continue reading “Bishop of London asks Government to work with church schools on youth volunteering”