News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Bishop laments Boris Johnson's 'destructive and distressing' language

Rt Rev Nick Baines, who represents the Church of England on Brexit, issued a statement after Boris Johnson batted away questions about his use of language in the House of Commons.

Labour's Paula Sherriff initially criticised Mr Johnson for his repeated use of "surrender act" when describing legislation designed to prevent ministers forcing through a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

She warned against using such language and mentioned murdered MP Jo Cox before highlighting that many of her colleagues are subjected to death threats and abuse.

But Mr Johnson labelled her remarks "humbug", which prompted an angry response in the chamber - with shouts of "shame" emerging.

The Prime Minister later suggested the best way to honour Jo Cox was to get Brexit done and unite the country.

Speaker John Bercow said the culture in the Commons on Wednesday was "toxic", adding it was "worse than any I have known in my 22 years in the House".


Addressing the scenes in parliament, Bishop Nick said: "The language used in the House of Commons last night is probably unprecedented. Drawing the name of a murdered MP into the fight was, at the very least, questionable. To describe the contribution of female MPs, pleading with the PM to moderate his language in the light of violence and death threats, as 'humbug' is appalling.

"The Prime Minister has a particular and weighty responsibility in our current crisis to lead by example. A fundamental element of strong leadership, rooted in character, is to demonstrate humility. The language he is using is destructive and has caused distress. An apology would be in order. More importantly, he needs to lead a recalibration of language, mood and relationship. What we are witnessing currently is the further corruption of our public discourse and the norms of democratic debate."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email