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UK News

Former archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu takes seat in House of Lords

by Press Association

Former archbishop of York the Rt Rev Dr John Sentamu has taken his seat on the red benches in the House of Lords.

Lord Sentamu joins the upper chamber as an independent crossbencher.

There was controversy over the initial failure to give a life peerage to the 71-year-old, who retired last June, as is customary.

The Government was accused of “institutional prejudice” over Britain’s first black archbishop not being automatically ennobled.

Following criticism, he was subsequently appointed to the upper chamber, enabling him to continue sitting in the Lords in a personal capacity.

Giving his full title in the Lords, the clerk referred to him as “Baron Sentamu of Lindisfarne in our county of Northumberland and of Misole in the Republic of Uganda”.

Lord Sentamu wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short introduction ceremony in the upper chamber where he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

He was flanked by his supporters – former president of the Supreme Court Baroness Hale of Richmond and Tory peer Lord Popat.

Born near Kampala in Uganda, Lord Sentamu fled to the UK in 1974 after criticising the regime of dictator Idi Amin.

Ordained in 1979, he served as bishop of both Stepney and Birmingham before becoming the archbishop of York in 2005.

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