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UK news in brief

15 April 2016


Speaker's order: the veteran plain-speaking MP Dennis Skinner leaves the chamber of the House of Commons on Monday, after refusing to withdraw his reference to the Prime Minister as "Dodgy Dave", following David Cameron's statement to the House regarding his personal finances

Speaker's order: the veteran plain-speaking MP Dennis Skinner leaves the chamber of the House of Commons on Monday, after refusing to withdraw h...

Bishop widens call for tax transparency

THE Prime Minister’s example in publishing his tax returns should be followed by other MPs and companies, a member of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, the Rt Revd Michael Doe, said this week. “Companies — multinational companies in particular — ought to be more transparent,” Bishop Doe told Premier News. “They ought to say what tax they’re paying, and where they’re paying it; and, if we expect that of companies, I don’t see why we shouldn’t also expect it of individuals.””



Half of prison inmates call themselves Christian

HALF of the prison population (42,063 out of 84,968) identify themselves as Christian, the latest offender-management statistics suggest. Of this number, about 16,000 are Anglican, and 15,197 are Roman Catholic. Muslims make up about 18 per cent of the prison population, compared with about 4.3 per cent of the general population. Just 398 inmates are Jewish. A total of 26,007 gave no religion.


Two Christian Concern appeals are lost

TWO Christians supported by Christian Concern have lost their appeals. Victoria Wasteney was suspended for nine months as a senior occupational therapist after giving a religious book to a Muslim colleague and praying with her (News, 11 March). An employment tribunal upheld the suspension, and last week Judge Jennifer Eady QC dismissed her appeal. The Appeals Committee has upheld the decision by the University of Sheffield to expel from his course Felix Ngole, who expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage on his Facebook page (News, 11 March).


Schools close in Edinburgh after defects uncovered

THE closure of 17 schools in Edinburgh while structural engineers conduct checks had left parents “alarmed”, the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Revd John Armes, told Premier News this week. The decision to close them was made after “serious defects” were discovered at one school last Friday. All the affected schools were operated by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership, and were built under the same public-private partnership contract about ten years ago. The problems first came to light in January, when a wall at Oxgangs Primary School collapsed.


Former Reading curate sentenced after admitting abuse

THE Revd Peter Jarvis, a former Assistant Curate of St Michael and All Angels, in Spencers Wood, near Reading, has been sentenced to 15 months after pleading guilty to sexually abusing two teenage girls (News, 12 February). He also pleaded guilty to possessing an indecent image of a child. He had previously been cleared of 11 out of 12 sexual offences at a trial in 2014. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, said it was a matter of “sorrow and regret” for the Church.


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