Archbishop calls for return to good standards in public life after partygate

Justin Welby said that Sue Gray’s report shows that “culture, behaviour and standards in public life” matter.

Luke O'Reilly
Wednesday 25 May 2022 17:53
Archbishop Justin Welby has said that Sue Gray’s report shows that “culture, behaviour, and standards in public life” matter (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Archbishop Justin Welby has said that Sue Gray’s report shows that “culture, behaviour, and standards in public life” matter (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has reacted to Sue Gray’s report on partygate by saying “we need to rediscover” good standards in public life.

Archbishop Justin Welby said the report shows that “culture, behaviour and standards in public life” matter.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied fresh calls to resign following the publication of Ms Gray’s report into lockdown law-breaking parties at Downing Street.

We need to be able to trust our national institutions, particularly in times of great trouble

Justin Welby

In a statement, the archbishop said “we need to be able to trust our national institutions” in times of trouble.

“Sue Gray’s report shows that culture, behaviour and standards in public life really matter,” he said.

“We need to be able to trust our national institutions, particularly in times of great trouble.”

He added that standards in public life are “the glue that holds us together”.

“Jesus commands us to serve the most vulnerable and those in need,” he said.

“To help achieve this, we must recover the principles of mutual flourishing and the common good in the way we are governed.

“Standards in public life are the glue that holds us together – we need to rediscover them and abide by them.”

Last month the archbishop also criticised the Government over its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said there were “serious ethical questions” about using “deterrence” to stop asylum seekers reaching the UK.

He added that that he opposed sending “traumatised” people more than 4,000 miles away without their consent.

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