Bishops and the latest Lords expenses row

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Commenting on the controversy over expenses claimed by the Church of England bishops who sit in the House of Lords as of right, Symon Hill, associate director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:

"While it is of course legitimate for people to claim travel expenses and the like, the sums in question seem extraordinarily high.

"The public have a right to expect bishops to produce a breakdown of how this money has been used. We need to be clear that no bishop has used this money simply as additional income.

"When it comes to the costs of travel, accommodation, food and so forth, many Christians – and other voters – would naturally expect church leaders to live relatively simply.

“People of many faiths and of none will understandably be asking themselves why bishops and other members of the Lords should be able to claim public money and vote on legislation without being accountable to the public."