Religion and the Election 2024 – list of our briefings & articles

Image credit: CC BY-NC Bilde: Rui Vieira

The Religion Media Centre has published a series of articles and briefings, airing some of the issues in the election campaign which concern and directly affect people of faith and religious organisations in the UK.

Voting patterns and key concerns of religious traditions in the UK

Our reporters have produced a series on how the different religious traditions are represented in the UK vote, and what they are saying about their major concerns:

The Christian Vote by Tim Wyatt: There is no bloc vote among Christians in the UK, but there is a common approach that faith is tied to social justice. Tim Wyatt and Catherine Pepinster report on voting patterns and assess key issues.

The Sikh Vote by Hardeep Singh: Sikhs in Britain historically vote Labour and issues concerning them include hate crime, representation in public life, and justice over the Amritsar killings of 1984. 

The Jewish Vote by Lianne Kolirin: There isn’t a single Jewish vote, but recent polling shows a surge in support for Labour – 46 per cent under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, up from a record low of 11 per cent when Jeremy Corbyn was in charge.

The Hindu Vote by Naomi Canton: Hinduism is the third largest religion in the UK and while it is not clear how they will vote in the general election, they have, for the first time, come together to launch a manifesto.

The Muslim Vote by Catherine Pepinster: The launch of “The Muslim Vote” movement, reflecting anger about the situation in Gaza, could have a significant impact on polling, challenging traditional Labour support.


We have run a series of briefings with panels of speakers on issues which faith organisations have campaigned on and which ignite strong passions and opinions. Links to all the briefings can be found on our website here.

Tuesday 18 June: Education Religion is long associated with education in Britain, with a third of all schools having a faith foundation. Concerns were expressed on a shortage of teachers, contraction of arts subjects at universities which affects departments of Theology and Religious Studies, and the continuing campaign to remove a 50 per cent cap on faith school admissions. The proposed 20 per cent VAT hike on private school fees is causing real anxiety among independent schools, especially the smaller ones affiliated with minority British religions with lower fees, less affluent parents and determination to choose a faith school for their child. Speakers included:

  • Rev Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis Trust
  • Rudi Eliott Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer at the Independent Schools Association
  • Raisel Freedman, assistant director of the Partnership for Jewish Schools
  • Prof John Lydon and Dr Caroline Heely from the Catholic Union
  • Ashfaque Chowdhury, chair Association of Muslim Schools
  • Dr Lois Lee and Dr Tim Hutchings, on university funding and the study of religion
  • Deborah Weston, from NATRE, on RE in schools
  • Paul Bickley, head of political engagement at Theos think tank

Thursday 20 June: Immigration Immigration is among the top four concerns driving voters at the general election, and their religious identity impacts how they regard the issue. Speakers pointed out that asylum seekers form just five per cent of the total net migration, yet all the focus is on them. The briefing discussed the Rwanda scheme and ways to tackle gangs bringing in migrants on boats across the Channel; the need to control the flow of migration to give public confidence; and the faith imperative to treat people with dignity and love your neighbour. The speakers included:

  • Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain
  • Liam Allmark, Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Krish Kandiah, founder of the Sanctuary Foundation
  • Paul Bickley, head of political engagement at Theos Think Tank
  • Sebastian Milbank, executive editor of The Critic

Tuesday 25 June: Poverty The cost of living is a top election issue, yet the increasing wealth divide and extent of poverty have not really figured in election debates. Many speakers agreed that poverty has not been given the emphasis it deserves in this election campaign, a feeling particularly strong among Christian charities which described “deep poverty” in society, with people unable to find enough support to even afford the essentials. There were discussions about taxation, around how it has been portrayed in the campaign as an evil to be guarded against, rather than a passport for the common good. And there was some blue-skies thinking, as people said the current model of state support with charities picking up the pieces showed the system had failed and there was a need for a root-and-branch approach to social inequality in the future. Chaired by Mick Ord, our speakers were:

  • Paul Morrison, Joint Public Issues Team, representing several free churches
  • Phil Callaghan, Trussell Trust Network Church Engagement Manager North West
  • Gareth McNab, Christians against Poverty director of external affairs
  • Hannah Fremont-Brown, anti-poverty movement
  • Mudaser Ali from the Muslim Charities Forum
  • Stephen Bediako, social entrepreneur
  • Bishop Mike Royal, Gen Sec of Churches Together in England, on tax as a blessing
  • Josh Nicholson, senior researcher at the Centre for Social Justice
  • Bartek Staniszewski, senior research fellow at Bright Blue think tank
  • George Lapshynov, researcher at Theos Think Tank

Thursday 27 June: Climate Change Faith groups across the globe are passionately engaged in climate change campaigns, with a deep desire to save the planet. Representatives of faith organisations and campaign groups told this Religion Media Centre election briefing that they saw signs of hope in several of the parties’ manifestos. Chaired by Ruth Peacock, our panel was:

  • Steven Croft, The Bishop of Oxford
  • Dr Timothy Howles, Associate Director, Laudato Si’ Research Institute
  • Amandeep Kaur Mann, founder and director of Eco Sikh UK
  • Jamie Williams, Senior Policy Advisor with Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Oliver Pearce, Chief of Policy at Christian Aid

Tuesday 4 June: The impact of religious traditions on the election vote The majority of the UK population is affiliated with a religion – 63 per cent in England and Wales, 49 per cent in Scotland and 83 per cent in Northern Ireland. And in this Religion Media Centre briefing, faith representatives explained the issues for each group which will sway the vote, in addition to the usual election battlegrounds of the economy, the NHS and immigration. This time a foreign policy issue – response to the war in Gaza – supersedes others for many Muslims. Antisemitism is a key issue for Jewish voters. Immigration and wealth tax are issues for some Hindu voters. And for Christians, it’s around social issues such as asylum seekers, poverty and support for families. The briefing heard from researchers at the think tank Theos which has analysed voting data to discover the influence of religion on engagement, ideology and voting trends. One of its findings is that if Nigel Farage wants to make a pitch for a religious vote for his right-wing organisation Reform, then he should pitch to non-practising nostalgic Anglicans. Rosie Dawson hosted the briefing with guests:

  • Paul Bickley, head of political engagement at Theos Think Tank
  • George Lapshynov, political researcher at Theos Think Tank
  • Sophie Cartwright, Jesuit Refugee service
  • Catherine Pepinster, Catholic commentator
  • Abubakr Nanabawa, national coordinator for the Muslim Vote campaign
  • Prof Adeela Shafi, founder of the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group
  • Miqdaad Versi, director for media monitoring at the Muslim Council of Britain
  • Jagdev Virdee, Editor British Sikh Report
  • Daniel Sugarman, Director of Public Affairs for the Board of Deputies
  • Dr Subir Sinha, director of the SOAS South Asia Institute

Tuesday 2 July: the relationship between faith organisations and the next government

How should the incoming government work with faith groups in modern, diverse Britain? In this Religion Media Centre election briefing, the panel discussed the current vacuum of communication, and heard that Muslims in particular feel alienated and ostracised. Labour alone in this election has promised to ensure strong partnerships with faith communities including the appointment of a faith minister to lead on engagement with faith communities. The briefing heard strong opinions that the government’s ban on talking to the Muslim Council of Britain was “absolutely absurd” and its withdrawal of support to the Interfaith Network was “extraordinarily foolish”. Chaired by Ruth Peacock, our panel was:

  • Sir Stephen Timms, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group of Faith in Society
  • Lord Jim Wallace spoke for the Liberal Democrats
  • Colin Bloom, former faith engagement adviser
  • The Conservatives did not put forward a spokesperson
  • Other speakers were: Professor Adeela Shafi, Richard Chapman, Marie Southall, Phil Champain, Daniel Singleton, Amrick Singh Ubhi and Jack Palmer-White.


Election briefing: Hindu, atheist, Anglican, and ‘nontheist Quaker’ … what a cultural collaboration
Andrew Bradley reports on the rich tapestry of religious affiliations among politicians standing for election, reflecting a diverse and modern Britain.

For more information and Zoom links to briefings: [email protected]


Join our Newsletter