I was delighted to be asked by Politics.co.uk to speak on the issue of unelected bishops in the House of Lords, alongside Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham.
By being a self described ethical or moral authority within the House of Lords, bishops provide a large voice which is quite skewed on particular questions. Only one bishop for example supported the same sex marriage act. Bishops make moral declaratory statements from a position of power and privilege where other voices – which are more prominent on moral and ethical questions and are more reflective of the views of society – are not represented to the same extent in parliament.
Humanists UK has long campaigned to remove bishops from the House of Lords, on the basis that it is unfair, unjustified, and unpopular with the public at large. The only two sovereign states to award clerics of the established religion votes in their legislatures are the UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran!