Boris Johnson has stood by his assault on the Church of England after its high clergyman criticised his immigration coverage.
The Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the prime minister’s plan to deport refugees to Rwanda in a sermon on Easter Sunday, warning that it couldn’t “stand the judgement of God”.
However at a non-public assembly of Tory MPs on Tuesday afternoon Mr Johnson tried to deflect the criticism by claiming the clergy had been been by some means tender on criticising the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The assault was branded a “disgraceful slur” by Lambeth Palace on Thursday night – which pointed to statements by Justin Welby and others condemning the invasion within the strongest phrases.
However on Wednesday in parliament the prime minister declined to apologise when challenged over his apparently false declare.
Labour Chief Keir Starmer requested the PM whether or not he would “take this chance to apologise for slandering the Archbishop and the Church of England”.
However the prime minister replied: “I used to be barely stunned for the federal government to be criticised over the coverage that we’ve got devised to finish the deaths at sea within the Channel because of merciless legal gangs.
“I used to be stunned that we had been attacked for that – and it seems, have you learnt who proposed that coverage in 2004? It was David Blunkett, who stated it was a Twenty first-century resolution to the issues of unlawful asylum-seeking and immigration.”
However Sir Keir hit again, asking later within the session: “How can the prime minister declare to be a patriot when he intentionally assaults and degrades the establishment of our nice nation?”
He stated the prime minister appeared snug “slandering folks in a non-public room” with out “the spine to repeat it in public”.
The federal government’s coverage will see refugees arriving in Britain relocated to Rwanda, which has a poor human rights report and which the UK has granted folks asylum from as lately as final 12 months.