Subscribe now

All articles in category Politics

August 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Legalising cannabis

Proposals by some parliamentarians, including Lord William Hague, to legalise cannabis have been strongly criticised by leading medical professionals. In June, activists were calling for the recreational usage of the class B drug. Although medical cannabis can help some patients, recreational use has been banned in the UK. However, the former foreign secretary claimed Britain should consider introducing a ‘lawful, regulated market in cannabis for recreational use’. Lord Hague’s comments drew sharp criticism from many, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS). Mr Stevens told a health conference, ‘In countries where marijuana has been decriminalised,...

Read more
August 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Prayer breakfast in Parliament

More than 170 MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May, cabinet members, peers, ambassadors and church leaders, gathered for a special prayer breakfast. Held in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, on 19 June, the 2018 National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast was addressed by Rev. Dr Tim Keller, who spoke on the topic ‘What can Christianity offer our society in the 21st century’. He urged Christians not to lose their saltiness, referencing Matthew 5:13. He said, ‘Christians, you’re only going to be of benefit to society if you stay different, if you don’t become like the society: self-actualising; if you stay self-sacrificers and self-givers’. Dr Keller...

Read more
July 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Teachers’ freedom threatened

The freedom of teachers to disagree with same-sex marriage is under threat in schools, with draft government guidance threatening to shut down debate and block pupils from hearing an alternative view. A consultation on the guidance closed on 5th June 2018. The draft guidance says that a school will not meet requirements if its PSHE curriculum ‘suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law’.  The Christian Institute warns that this wording will inevitably restrict disagreement with same-sex marriage in schools. Teachers will not want to put their school at risk of being failed. Ofsted has...

Read more
July 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Sharia review implementation

Baroness Caroline Cox has challenged the government to respond urgently to the findings of the independent review of the application of sharia law in England and Wales, published in February 2018, according to Christian Concern. The review stated that ‘no one disputed that sharia councils engage in practices which are discriminatory to women’.  Baroness Cox questioned the government’s response in the House of Lords, saying: ‘One Muslim lady told me, ‘I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this, and it’s worse here than in the country from which I came’. Therefore, I ask the minister whether Her Majesty’s Government will...

Read more
July 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Abortion

There have been two major developments regarding abortion in the north and south of Ireland. The UK Supreme Court rejected an attempt to liberalise the law banning abortion in Northern Ireland, but meanwhile the Republic of Ireland has voted in favour of legalising abortion in the south. The result of the referendum in the Republic will add pressure to liberalise the law in the north. But the UK Supreme Court ruling will be welcomed by those who want to preserve the lives of unborn children in the province. The case was brought to the UK Supreme Court by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. But...

Read more
June 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Ashers’ case

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Ashers Baking Company, has spoken of Jesus’ sustaining power during the difficult four years of legal challenges. Addressing journalists assembled outside the Royal Courts of Justice, as the Supreme Court prepared to hear their case, Mr McArthur said the issue of ‘compelled speech’ is central. Ashers’ owners are defending themselves against an Equality Commission for Northern Ireland charge, after they declined to decorate a pro-gay marriage campaign cake. Daniel McArthur said: ‘Good morning. Thank you all for coming. Four years ago, my family came under attack for exercising our basic right to live by our beliefs, to live as Christians. We...

Read more
June 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Faith cap rule

Former education secretary Justine Greening, has said she disagrees with the government’s proposal to abolish the 50 per cent faith cap rule. This cap means that new faith schools are not able to select more than half of their pupils on religious grounds. Ms Greening, speaking to the Times Educational Supplement, said abolishing the cap would not help schools ‘bring children together’ or prepare them for life in modern Britain’. Although she said the 50 per cent discrimination cap had some shortcomings, she told the magazine she did not think it should be removed. In September 2017, a report into integration by the All Party...

Read more
June 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Lords weigh in on British values debate

The government must reverse its lack of commitment to citizenship policies in the UK, and commit to making changes for a more cohesive society, a select committee has warned. The House of Lords select committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement, after a nine-month inquiry on shared values of British citizenship, said there was need to define these values. It also stated these values should be given more prominence in government departments and faith schools. The committee’s report said: ‘The government claims to be committed to the promotion of fundamental British values, but has blunted their impact by identifying them to such an extent with the...

Read more
June 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Call for protection of religious freedom

Christian charity CARE has called for greater recognition of the right to freedom of religion and belief. In CARE’s submission to the Scottish parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee, it cited how the Scottish parliament failed to ‘have a fully informed and nuanced discussion of human rights, prior to policy and legislative initiatives being brought forward’. For example, Dr Gordon Macdonald, CARE for Scotland’s policy officer, highlighted the information-sharing provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which was considered as a bill by the Scottish parliament in 2013/14. In 2013, CARE provided written evidence to the then Education and Culture Committee, in...

Read more
June 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Censorship zones

Mothers challenging a decision to criminalise prayer and support outside abortion clinics have joined together outside the High Court after filing the challenge. At the end of April, Alina Dulgheriu, a mother who was supported by a pro-life vigil outside a London abortion clinic, filed a high court challenge to the Ealing ‘censorship zone’. This censorship zone would criminalise prayer and support outside an abortion clinic and prevent pro-life vigils from taking place within a wide exclusion zone. Ms Dulgheriu told the media: ‘I am here today because I have confidence in the truth. I am here today because I have confidence in the facts,...

Read more
May 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Trafficking shows sharp rise

Human trafficking in the UK has seen a shocking rise in 2017, figures from the National Crime Agency (NCA) has revealed. According to the NCA, 5,145 potential victims of human trafficking were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2017. This marked a 35 per cent increase on 2016’s figures, making it a record number in the UK. According to the reports, potential victims of trafficking were from 116 different nationalities during 2017. However, British, Albanian and Vietnamese nationals remain the most commonly reported victims. The most common type of exploitation recorded was labour exploitation. In one-third of cases (1,744), it was suspected the...

Read more
May 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Scottish smacking ban

Parents will have their rights to bring up their children handed over to the state if the Scottish parliament criminalises smacking. This was the warning from lawyer Gordon Lindhurst, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), who claimed the Scottish government’s arguments in favour of a ban on smacking were underhand. Writing for Scottish Legal News, he said that, rather than banning assault on children (which is already illegal), the proposal aims to rebrand loving parental discipline as ‘assault’. As quoted on the Christian Institute website, he pointed out that, despite John Finnie MSP’s claims that a ban would not criminalise parents, removing the current...

Read more