Universal Credit ‘makes debt and hardship practically inevitable’, says Archbishop of York

From Welfare Weekly: The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has publicly condemned the Tory Government’s flagship Universal Credit scheme, claiming the widely criticised welfare reform makes falling into debt and hardship “practically inevitable”.

His comments are the latest in a long-line of criticisms and come only a few weeks after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, slammed the new benefit for leaving the UK’s poorest citizens even more “worse off”.

[Read full article on Welfare Weekly website…]

Increase in abuse directed at women wearing the niqab or hijab after Boris Johnson comments

From The Independent: The Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim violence, has reported an increase in incidents of abuse aimed at women wearing the niqab or hijab over the past week [since Boris Johnson‘s derogatory comments].

[Read article on Independent website…]

Tories are in denial on Islamophobia, says hero imam

From London Evening Standard: The imam hailed for his heroism in the Finsbury Park terror attack today condemns the Government’s “lacklustre” efforts to fight Islamophobia. Mohammed Mahmoud accuses ministers of failing to show “meaningful engagement” with the Muslim community that is feeling increasingly “vulnerable”.

[Read article on Evening Standard website…]

Muslim group accuses Tories of turning blind eye to Islamophobia claims

From The Guardian: The Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Conservative party of hoping allegations of Islamophobia in its ranks will “magically go away” and complained that the party’s chairman has not responded to its call for an internal inquiry.

Three weeks after it first raised the issue, the group wrote again to Brandon Lewis on Tuesday highlighting further allegations of anti-Muslim prejudice within Tory ranks. It said it was not acceptable to turn “a blind eye to legitimate concerns about bigotry”.

The MCB said further examples of alleged Islamophobic abuse had emerged, including the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi saying she had been racially abused at meetings, and a pro-Tory Facebook group that contained a string of anti-Muslim threats.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Conservatives must launch urgent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party, Muslim Council of Britain demands

From The Independent: The Muslim Council of Britain has written to the Conservative Party calling for an urgent inquiry following “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party”.

[Read article on Independent website…]

Christian Support For Conservatives Drops By A Third, Evangelical Alliance Report Says

From HuffPost UK: Conservative support among Christians has dropped by a third since the 2010 election.

Almost 40% of Christians surveyed by the Evangelical Alliance said they intended to change who they vote for in the 2015 election, and the Conservatives have seen significant drops in support from a community where almost double the national average intend to vote.

The Faith in Politics? report follows a survey of 2,020 evangelical Christians, conducted by the Evangelical Alliance between August and September 2014, shows that poverty and inequality is the single most important issue for evangelicals, compared to only 4% of the general population saying the same.

[Read full article on HuffPost UK website…]