The House of Lords and the House of Commons are both located in the same Palace of Westminster and as we know very well each MP is elected from their local constituency whereas the members of the House of Lords are all appointed by the people who have been elected. That said, no one outside of the Political Parties gets to choose who will be the Prime Minister or Party Leader and also the Ministers or Shadow Ministers so although the Lords are not elected, one could argue that all of our Prime Ministers are elected by far less than 0.1% of the people in the UK. This means that we should listen to the House of Lords as they may have great wisdom and their appointment may be at least as credible as the election of Prime Ministers. As it happens I have met James Langstaff who is the Bishop of Rochester and I have had the privilege of working with him albeit briefly. On the other hand I have never met the Prime Minister and to be clear I don’t have any prospect of meeting him. In the light of the recent concerns over the way Boris has dealt with his flat in 11 Downing Street, James stated the following on Tuesday. I respect his view and I am confident that unless Boris is willing to review the position that he is facing, that more problems are likely to emerge. This is the Statement from the Bishop of Rochester
My Lords, I will not advise on internal decorations, but I observe that, by virtue of being here, we are all inhabitants of glass houses. We note the adage that being in a glass house makes us visible, so it is wise to behave in ways that do not disgrace this place or ourselves. We often hear words from or about Ministers and others in public office to the effect that he or she did not “break the rules”. Is that not to set the bar fairly low? Does the Minister agree that, while we are all fallible human beings, we, in public office, should aspire to the highest possible standards of probity and behaviour and not simply settle for keeping the rules? If we do not, public opinion will lead to ever tighter rules.
I happen to agree with him and I am grateful for his statement