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Parties fish for final votes, as polling day draws near

02 June 2017


Electoral trawl: Carl Hatton, who works on the fishing vessel Avon Valley, waits to meet the Prime Minister, on Wednesday morning. Mrs May visited Plymouth Fisheries, where she spoke to fishermen and traders

Electoral trawl: Carl Hatton, who works on the fishing vessel Avon Valley, waits to meet the Prime Minister, on Wednesday morning. Mrs May visited Ply...

POLITICIANS have been stepping up efforts to woo voters before the General Election on Thursday.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister visited one of the largest Pente­costal churches in Britain — Jesus House, in north-west London — to explain how her vicarage upbring­ing inspired her career. Mrs May described how her father, the Revd Hubert Brasier, who died in a car crash in 1981, had instilled in her the importance of “treat­ing every human being equally” regard­less of their background or problems.

"His job was to serve everybody, and that’s the message that I hope that I have kept with me from my time in the vicarage," she said.

Mrs May was later questioned by Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor at Jesus House, on how she would increase the proportion of black and ethnic-minority MPs in Parliament, should she win the election.

"I’ve always said Parliament will make better decisions if it has a greater diversity of people,” she said. “I would hope you would have some young people here in your church who will see being an MP as something they can do to give back to society, and to work actively to improve the lives of others."

Jesus House has also been taking part in Thy Kingdom Come, the global movement for nine days’ prayer before Pentecost initiated for An­­glicans by the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­­bury. Jesus House has called its members to 21 days of prayer and fasting around the theme of “restora­tion”.

Mrs May said that she, too, was focusing on restoration, for Britain. “One of the themes that I felt coming from this church is that of restoration and of hope for the future. We have real opportunities — but we need to grasp those oppor­tunities by working together and having a real unity of purpose and build a better future for every­body.”

Labour launched its own Race and Faith manifesto in Watford, on Tuesday. The party’s plans include steps to improve race relations and ethnic-minority representation in pub­lic life, besides tackling hate crime. The mini-manifesto mentions Christianity in a promise to defend the right of all people of faith, including Christians, to wear religious dress.

During an interview on BBC1’s The One Show, on Tuesday evening, Mr Corbyn praised a Church of Scotland minister, the Revd Ian May, also featured on the programme, who had opened a com­munity bank in Leith, in Scotland. “I say ‘Well done, Revd Ian.’ . . . I support our local Co-Op credit union, because it’s a way of helping people get loans who would­n’t otherwise get them,” he said.

PARing leaders: the representatives of seven parties take part in the BBC Election Debate broadcast live from Senate House, Cambridge, this week

Premier Youth and Children’s Work, a monthly magazine, has col­lected the thoughts of youth and chil­­dren’s workers around Britain about what should be top of the new government’s agenda.

The youth and children’s workers’ priorities included mental health, tackling knife crime, un­em­ploy­ment, children’s going hungry during school holi­days, family break­down, and new funding streams for youth work.

The development charity Tear­fund was due to hold a hustings on international aid and other develo­ment issues on Wednesday evening, to push the topic up the election agenda.

The hustings, at Milbank Tower in Westminster, was set to include the Conservative minister David Lid­­ington, the Labour candidate Ste­phen Timms, and the Liberal Demo­crat Claire Mathys.


Leader comment; Paul Vallely; Letters

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