Bishop Libby makes maiden speech in House of Lords

The Rt Revd Libby Lane, the Bishop of Derby, has made her maiden speech in the House of Lords - and in doing so has become the first bishop to make their maiden speech virtually.

Bishop Libby spoke as part of a debate brought by the Most Revd John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, on the case for increasing income equality in the light of the recent health emergency (Covid-19).

In her allotted two minutes, Bishop Libby drew particular attention to the disproportionate and detrimental impact income inequality and lack of sustainability has on children and their households.

Bishop Libby said: "In this national time of emergency, we know there is much to be done to respond to every child, to keep all our children and young people safe, to support the mental health and well-being of our children, and to protect children and their families facing increased financial insecurity as a result of this crisis.

"The inequalities that affect the more than 4 million children in poverty in our country run deep and are systemic, so solutions need to be long-term and sustainable.

"When asked about the Kindom of God, Jesus brought among them and said 'Of such is the Kindom of Heaven'. 

"I thank your Noble Lords for your patience in hearing my plea that we put children at the heart of our work for a more just and equitable, sustainable society."

Yesterday, the Church of England and the Child Poverty Action Group released a joint report ‘No one knows what the future can hold’, calling for the suspension of the two child limit in Universal credit.

In her speech, Bishop Libby also made reference to the work of The Children's Society and praised diocesan staff, clergy and congregations for their work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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