Bishop Paul calls for an immediate increase in spending for Ukraine
Bishop Paul has called for an immediate increase in UK defence spending. Speaking in the House of Lords, Bishop Paul said this would ensure that the Ukraine people could defend themselves and that refugees living in the UK received appropriate and sustained support.
Bishop Paul was speaking the day after President Zelensky had addressed both Houses of Parliament calling for increased Western military aid.
Having been in the audience in Westminster Hall listening to the President, Bishop Paul told their Lordships that the UK needed to be “careful that as the war progresses, our objectives do not shift from helping Ukraine defend itself to more comprehensively defeating Russia.” He called for “a robust financial plan for immediate and medium-term increased defence spending and a strategic defence procurement plan, especially in the light of the sudden shift in security priorities because of the heightened threats in Europe.”
“We need a budget more in keeping with the fact that we are, in many ways, strategic players in a proxy war—a war that will need a long-term, committed response,” he said.
Bishop Paul who was the Church of England’s Duty Bishop in the Lords this week also reflected on the continuing plight of the Ukraine refugees in Britain.
“The initial early public support for the refugees was remarkable, and the government scheme very welcome but more of the elderly relatives are now starting to come, and they have been harder to house. People in my diocese have found that there is also a particular problem for those leaving their host families to be able to find sufficient resources for a deposit for rented accommodation. We cannot keep taking from the international aid budget,” said Bishop Paul.
He also pointed to “a propaganda war that we may not yet have properly addressed” and said that “we should … not defer from the Prophet Micah’s call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. That should not soften strategic or military resolve to reply to violent aggression, but it may help, in the process, to avoid lapses of judgment caused by conflict fatigue.”