Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke in the House of Lords this afternoon during the second reading of the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, a policy he referred to as “morally unacceptable”. He said that Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman’s plan “risks great damage to the UK’s interests and reputation at home and abroad”, citing Matthew 25, in which Jesus encourages us to welcome the stranger. Last year, the Archbishop said in an Easter Sunday sermon that the policy was “against the judgement of God”.

I am not a theologian, but as an MP who is also a Christian and a supporter of the plans I am uncomfortable with the Archbishop’s language. The implied conclusion is that a completely open border policy would be the most moral policy for the Government, but I disagree. The truth is that Liberals, both inside and outside the Church, often misapply the definition of Christian compassion…

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