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UK news in brief

14 February 2020


Christian support: the Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer meets nurses during a visit to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, last week. He has been nominated by the Labour society Christians on the Left; Angela Rayner was nominated to be the next deputy leader. The chair of Christians on the Left, Jonathan Reynolds MP, said: “We wanted our members to be involved in this process, which is why we balloted them rather than decide centrally.”

Christian support: the Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer meets nurses during a visit to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, last wee...


CCJ concerned over rise of anti-Semitism in the UK

THE Council of Christians and Jews has expressed concern at the reported rise of anti-Semitic incidents in 2019. The Antisemitic Incidents Report 2019, published by the Community Society Trust this week, records 1805 incidents in the UK in 2019 — the highest that it has ever recorded in a single calendar year, and seven per cent higher than the 1690 anti-Semitic incidents reported to CST in 2018. This makes 2019 the fourth consecutive year in which the annual record has been broken. The CCJ statement reads: “The report details shocking examples of assault, graffiti, desecration of Jewish cemeteries, and appalling abuse — often centred around language involving the Holocaust, Israel, and the Labour Party — especially on social media. Today’s report should be a wake-up call to take antisemitism seriously.”


PAStone rises: the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, selects a stone at Chicksgrave Quarry for the cathedral’s 800th-anniversary celebrations. The stone, once carved, will go at the east end of the cathedral.


Bishop explains Church’s mining investments

THE Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, has said that the Church Commissioners chose to invest in mining, despite the ethical considerations, because “it is important for everyone on the planet.” The economy depended on it, he told CNBC Africa this week at the close of the Mining Indaba, the largest mining investment conference in the world. “Mining illustrates what is given — dug up and given — right through to the consumer with all our entitled demands to have what we want when we want at the right price.”


Newman bone relic reportedly stolen

A FIRST-CLASS relic of St John Henry Newman has reportedly been stolen from the Oratory in Birmingham. The Oratory’s weekly newsletter on 2 February stated that it was taken during January, Catholic News Agency reports. “Sadly, the only piece of bone thought to have been St John Henry’s was stolen from its casket in the Newman Shrine. If anyone has seen any suspicious activity, please inform one of the Fathers or Brothers.” The most recent edition of the the newsletter does not include any further mention of the theft, and the West Midlands Police told the Catholic News Agency that they were “unable to find a report of theft from Birmingham Oratory”.


Salvation Army calls for Universal Credit reform

MOST users of Universal Credit have struggled to complete their claim, research by the Salvation Army suggests. In its survey of 160 people who were currently out of work and looking for employment between March and June 2019, 85 per cent reported that they had struggled to complete their claim; 60 per cent cited not being able to use a computer or not understanding the complicated system as the main reasons. The charity is calling for the system to be reformed, including better identification of vulnerable people, smaller caseloads for jobcentres, and personalised claimant commitments.

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