Parliament’s part in the C of E’s rifts on equality for women and gay people | Letters

Westminster interference over women priests left a legacy that is still felt today, says April Alexander, while Andy Foster says equality for LGBTQ+ people in the church must become law

MPs may “raise concerns” about the fact that the Church of England appears not to be willing to offer marriage in church to same-sex couples (Welby ‘would rather see C of E disestablished than split over same-sex marriage’, 1 February ), but parliament has something to answer for in relation to the church and its attitude on such matters.

In 1992, the General Synod passed a relatively simple measure to allow women to become priests, but not to impose them where a parish wanted to maintain the then position of appointing only male priests. That did not satisfy the ecclesiastical committee of the time (a joint committee of MPs and peers) and they demanded “protection” and “safeguarding” against women priests by means of an Act of Synod. The church had no alternative but to oblige – and complicated arrangements were agreed whereby evangelical and, broadly, Anglo-Catholic parishes could opt out of the new regime and elect not to appoint women priests or to consider them for posts.

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My interview with Liz Truss has horrified parts of the Tory party – and with good reason | Katy Balls

The former leader’s comeback is directed not at the public, but her party: to force it back toward the low-tax radicalism it tried to abandon

“You’ve set the cat among the pigeons,” messaged a Tory MP after my interview with Liz Truss dropped on Monday night. The former prime minister’s first spoken intervention since leaving office saw Truss offer little in the way of a mea culpa, and instead set out her plans to carve out a place for herself on the backbenches as a committed tax-cutter. “Obviously I’ve got more time available now to think about these things and make the argument and that’s what I want to do,” she said of her post-prime ministerial plans.

Given Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are trying to lower expectations ahead of the spring budget (and the budget after that), it’s exactly the type of intervention the government would rather avoid. The chancellor has repeatedly suggested now is not the time for tax cuts – instead they will only come “when the time is right” . Sunak has frequently said bringing down inflation must come first. He said the public were “not idiots” and understood this. The implication? Some in his party are.

Katy Balls is political editor of the Spectator

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I have seen race hate in the US and UK and the message is the same: no one is free until we are all free | Al Sharpton

In both countries, policing still devalues Black lives, but there is good news: we have seen progress, and know our struggle yields results

I came to London more than 30 years ago to protest against the vicious murder of 15-year-old Rolan Adams . He and his younger brother were waiting at a bus stop when they were chased by a gang of white teenagers, many yelling racial epithets. Adams was stabbed in the neck with a butterfly knife and died.

The white mobs here were eerily similar to the white mobs we witnessed while protesting in places like Bensonhurst , Brooklyn. Similar stares, similar hate, similar use of the “N-word”, similar unease, similar tension and a similar lack of justice. More than three decades later, I return to share my film, Loudmouth , which chronicles my lifelong journey advocating and fighting for civil rights. While there has been progress that I have witnessed first-hand, both the US and the UK are still dealing with an excessive amount of police brutality. Whether it is back home or across the pond, the need for effective, thorough police reform is long overdue and we are here to demand it in unison.

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Britain, we had a thing with Truss and Johnson but it was toxic and we were right to end it. Just walk away | Marina Hyde

Both blame us for the breakdown – never themselves – and want to try again, but that just speaks to their massive self-delusion

Liz Truss is now eluded by two major types of growth: economic and personal. The past few days have seen the former prime minister break her welcome silence with what her allies call a series of “interventions”. The one intervention that doesn’t seem to have happened is the type where they sit you down and give you the hard truths about your behaviour. That treatment oversight has resulted in a spectacle of lavishly preposterous blame-shifting and self-delusion.

As discussed here recently , both the previous two prime ministers – Truss and Boris Johnson – are at this game. We live in an era where people who have got all the way to the highest office in the land now hilariously claim structural discrimination against the fact that, after varying amounts of time, they just weren’t good enough. When both of these chancers left office, they had not simply passed their best-before date – they had sailed beyond the use-by date and moved formally into the realms of biohazard. Yet instead of bucking the f up and accepting this, they have turned into the political equivalent of “incels” – involuntarily rejected by the people who determine whether or not you get to be prime minister, and bleating about it in self-reflection-free style on every available forum.

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