Vote by MPs on future of House of Lords

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Following the vote in the House of Commons tonight in which MPs backed a House of Lords in which all peers are democratically elected, Ekklesia's co-director Jonathan Bartley said; "This vote indicates clear support for bringing an end to an historical anomaly in the Second Chamber which has done no favours for either church or state."

"The removal of bishops from the House of Lords is long overdue. It has been a travesty that 26 men sit in Parliament simply because an undemocratic religious institution, in a curious conjunction with Government, has appointed them as their leaders."

"The presence of 26 bishops in Parliament implies that one brand of Christianity should be given special status over all other religions and belief systems. Not only is it at odds with democratic values, it is at odds with Christian values. Reform is long overdue, and the Government should now respond to the way that MPs have voted, and give their backing to the complete removal of bishops from the House of Lords."