Tories slam Archbishop of Canterbury for ‘parroting’ Labour attacks

Posted On: 
13th September 2018

Conservative MPs have accused the Archbishop of Canterbury of "parroting" Labour attacks on the Government in a hard-hitting speech about working rights.

The Archbishop also urged the government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit
Credit: 
PA Images

Archbishop Joseph Welby sparked fury after he told the TUC conference the gig economy was a “reincarnation of an ancient evil”.

The senior clergyman also took aim at the flagship Universal Credit benefit scheme, and called for a "new unionisation" of Britain.

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But Conservative MP Ben Bradley attacked the Archbishop for the comments, tweeting: “Not clear to me when or how it can be possibly appropriate of the Archbishop of Canterbury to be appearing at TUC conference or parroting Labour policy.”

Meanwhile, Tory MP Charles Walker accused the archbishop of backing “John McDonnell’s point of view”.

Lord Welby dismissed the criticism, saying his remarks were “political but not party political” and insisted he would not be heeding calls for senior clergy members to “stay out of politics”.

But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said that the senior church figure was “telling it like it is”.

“He is simply fulfilling his responsibility as a religious leader," Mr McDonnell said. "He is not taking party political sides.

"I welcome his impassioned plea for reform and hope his views and ideas will be addressed by all political parties.”

Ask if he thought the Archbishop should stay out of politics, Mr McDonnell replied: “Is that something Jesus did?”