BY Daniel Harkins | January 26 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Help refugees and prove UK is Christian, PM challenged

Catholic MP quotes Pope Francis and urges Theresa May to support migrants

A Catholic MP has challenged the Prime Minister to ‘put her Bible where her mouth is’ and prove that the United Kingdom is a Christian society by helping refugees.

Carol Monaghan, the SNP MP for Glasgow North West, last week asked Theresa May to support migrants during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

“His Holiness Pope Francis has this week condemned hostility to migrants, saying that communities across Europe must open themselves without prejudice to the rich diversity of immigrants,” she said. “As a committed Christian, would the Prime Minister agree with Pope Francis that hostility to migrants is a sin?”

In response, the Prime Minister replied: “This country has a fine record, over not just decades but centuries, of welcoming refugees and ensuring that people can come to this country and make their home in this country, and that is what we will continue to do.”

Mrs Monaghan said the response was disappointing. “For someone advertising herself as a Christian, her actions and rhetoric don’t match,” she said. “This is an issue I’ve been dealing with since I was elected—the government and their approach to refugees.

“So when the Pope spoke I thought: the Prime Minster is always claiming she’s a good Christian, well, she’s got to put her Bible where her mouth is.”


Christian heritage

In her Christmas address last month, Theresa May said Britain should ‘take pride in its Christian heritage.’

“As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us celebrate all those selfless acts—and countless others—that epitomise the values we share: Christian values of love, service and compassion that are lived out every day in our country by people of all faiths and none.”

The Prime Minster has previously spoken about her strong Christian faith. In 2014, she said her faith ‘is part of me.’

“It is part of who I am and therefore how I approach things,” she said. “It’s there and it obviously helps to frame my thinking and my approach.”

Carol Monaghan said the response to her mention of Pope Francis in the House of Commons had been largely well-received.

“The response to what I said was extremely positive,” she said. “I got a couple of negative emails saying I shouldn’t have mentioned the Pope but, I’m sorry—if the Prime Minister is going talk about how we are a Christian society then we need to know what that Christianity means.”


New deal

The UK Government last week signed a treaty with France at the Sandhurst military academy that commits an extra £44.5m for Channel border security and speeds up migrant application claims.

The treaty will mean time taken to process migrants hoping to come to the UK from Calais will be reduced from six months to one month for adults and 25 days for children. The agreement is the first joint treaty between the two countries on the Calais border in 15 years.


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