Bishops get death threats for criticising Downing Street adviser
Some of the Church of England’s most senior bishops have reported receiving hate mail and death threats after speaking out on Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings’ alleged breach of lockdown rules as he had made a trip from London to Durham to self-isolate. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has supported his advisor.
Bishop of Worcester John Inge tweeted that he received an email warning “stay out of politics or we’ll kill you” after he criticised Boris Johnson’s “risible defence” of Mr Cummings on Sunday night.
Helen-Ann Hartley, the bishop of Ripon, reported a similar threat, posting: “‘Stay out of politics or it will be the death of you’ was one of the emails I received today. Thank you to those who have sent supportive messages.”
She had earlier written about missing her father’s birthday during the lockdown as he recovered from radiotherapy. Rev Hartley said she was “following up” the hate email with police.
Christine Hardman, bishop of Newcastle, wrote: “I too received such an email. I feel concern for the person who sent it and will hold him or her in prayer.” The previous night she had posted that she was “deeply troubled” by the Prime Minister’s defence of his adviser.
Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, added that he had also received abuse, writing: “Public life in Britain today. Many of us have received this sort of message. It doesn’t work.”
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