The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has shown an increasing willingness to venture into political debates lately. In June, during the Black Lives Matter protests, he suggested that portrayals of Jesus as white should be reconsidered in English churches. And ahead of the December election last year he accused Boris Johnson of pouring petrol on a divided Britain.
Clearly not content with the controversy about his new role as a political consultant, Welby decided to go a step further this evening, when he willingly joined the most hellish fight in politics: Labour’s eternal civil war.
Welby's foray into left-wing politics came after the Labour MP Rosie Duffield received an alarming amount of abuse from the left of her party and was accused of transphobia, after she said that 'only women have a cervix'.
In response, the archbishop rushed to her aide this evening and tweeted:
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) August 4, 2020
I know Rosie Duffield who is a brilliant constituency MP for Canterbury as well as brave, honest, kind and passionate for justice. She does not seek to demean others. To troll her is simply cruel and wrong.
Welby may have a point on this one. But Mr S wonders if the archbishop may be setting an unusual precedent by getting involved in party politics. Perhaps voters will now expect to hear the Church of England view the next time there is a Labour deselection dispute or clash between the Corbynites and Starmer. Now that's an unholy war a wise man would stay clear of...