Church of England Bishop Calls Out Government’s “Immoral Approach” to Asylum Seekers

Bishop of Chelmsford criticises Illegal Migration Bill, calls for fair quotas and safe routes for asylum seekers

Church of England Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani, the Bishop of Chelmsford, has accused the UK Government of taking an “immoral approach” towards asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats. The bishop claims that the government is targeting vulnerable victims who deserve protection from war and persecution.

Bishop Francis-Dehqani’s comments follow a similar warning issued by the Bishop of Durham last month. The Church of England bishops are expected to lead a House of Lords revolt against the Illegal Migration Bill, which was passed in the Commons last week. Opposition parties view the bishops as a “moral brake” on the controversial legislation, which bans migrants from making asylum claims in the UK if they have entered the country illegally.


In a statement, the Bishop said: “War, persecution, famine, natural disasters and climate change mean that the desperate need for people to leave their homes and seek refuge in other countries is sadly here to stay.” She urged the government to work with other nations to agree on fair quotas and to establish safe routes for asylum seekers.

A Home Office spokesman defended the government’s stance, stating that the UK has a proud history of providing protection for those in need through safe and legal routes. However, they emphasised the need to end illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK to counteract people smuggling gangs and restore fairness to the asylum system.

The government managed to avoid a major Commons rebellion by promising to set up “safe and legal routes” for asylum seekers to apply to settle in the UK without entering illegally. Nonetheless, some Tory rebels, including former Prime Minister Theresa May, hope that the Lords will amend the legislation to restore protections for migrants who claim they are victims of modern slavery.

The Bishop of Chelmsford’s criticism of the UK Government’s “immoral approach” to asylum seekers is the latest development in the ongoing debate surrounding the Illegal Migration Bill. With the Church of England bishops set to lead a House of Lords revolt against the legislation, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to growing opposition.

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