Chief Rabbi attacks Blair on families

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The Independent Online
The Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, has urged Tony Blair to appoint a full-time minister for the family.

He accused Mr Blair and the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, of using empty words and not being serious when they claim to be supporting the family.

In an interview to be broadcast on GMTV's Sunday Programme today, he said: "I think that Gordon Brown, before the Budget, said that this was to be a family-orientated budget.

"I have argued with Tony Blair - and with John Major before - that we need a full minister for the family who will look at the implications of all government legislation and say, 'Does this strengthen or weaken the institution?' Until that is done, I'm afraid politicians are merely using a rhetoric, they're not being serious."

Earlier, the Chief Rabbi said: "I have spoken to a lot of politicians who are shy of jumping into this arena and they have said to me, 'well you're a religious leader, you do something about it'. I took up the challenge."

Ministers say they have given help to families through measures such as the Working Families Tax Credit and the new deal for the long-term unemployed.

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