The Executive Director of Christians in Politics says the implication that the Conservative Party leadership candidates wouldn’t give Boris Johnson a place in the Cabinet if they became Prime Minister raises “serious ethical questions.”
It follows last night’s TV debate with the five remaining candidates to replace Boris Johnson. They were asked by presenter Julie Etchingham whether they would consider appointing the current Prime Minister to a Ministerial role, but each remained silent.
Andy Flannagan spoke to Premier about what he thinks the response says about ethics in politics and in our culture as a whole :
“With last night’s debate things have got slightly more personal as inevitably happens with one of these processes, as folks try to find chinks in the armour of their opponents rather than pull together as recent colleagues. I think it does illustrate the point that people sometimes don't fully understand that all political parties are coalitions of folks from very different schools of thought and from a whole spectrum of ideologies and political ideas. It's sometimes the reason that Christians don't want to get involved in political parties.
“I think what you're seeing play out in front of you right now exposes the fact that actually there's often a wide variety of opinion in political parties and I think Christians should be encouraged by the fact that that's real. These spreads of opinion exist and it's really only in these battles that they often get fully exposed.
“I wouldn't want to put words in their mouth, but I think they would say that they were being team players while they were supporting the Prime Minister. Now, rather than expressing self-interest I think we’re seeing probably the reality of what they've always thought. I think the challenge to those folks then is that if that's what they’ve always thought and if that's the opinion you have then there are some serious questions to be asked.
“It’s been so easy during this whole season, to put all of our energy towards what you might call the pantomime villain that Boris Johnson became. But actually we don't just care about the ethics of leadership, we care about the ethics of a whole culture. So if a whole culture is potentially aiding and allowing an ethical leadership that's not particularly ethical, then that's a real challenge for any culture, for any board in a business. For any leadership team in a church, there are serious questions for these folks to answer, because that's a collective ethical failure.
“All of us that run NGOs or run small charities, or are involved in churches know that actually, if there's somebody involved in leadership that we know is doing damage and is twisting the truth, if we keep allowing that person to lead and keep an eye on that person to be exposed to our people, we're really doing them a disservice. So I think there are some serious ethical questions to answer.
“As Christians we shouldn’t be in our own little sub-culture and stay hidden away. We exist as Christians in politics to call people to be involved in a relational, Godly, Biblical way. And to do it together for the strength and numbers that that brings and for the accountability that that brings, so we can do much more than hope.”