Religion news 5 July 2024 – General Election landslide

Number 10 Downing Street. Image credit: Av Tom Robinson RLC. Open Government licence

The impact of “The Muslim Vote”

Sunder Katwala has tweeted an analysis of the impact of The Muslim Vote on Labour’s vote share, in constituencies with a high proportion of Muslim voters. It suggests the vote has gone down by between 15 – 40 per cent across the board. 

The votes have gone to independent candidates supported by The Muslim Vote, which was set up in protest at the failure of politicians to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. It says; “We are a powerful, united force of 4 million acting in unison. We are focused on seats where the Muslim vote can influence the outcome. We are here for the long term. In 2024, we will lay the foundations for our community’s political future”. 

The Muslim Vote listed constituenices where more than 10 per cent of the population are Muslim and identified how each MP voted last November on a Commons motion for a ceasefire. 

Jonathan Ashworth, until last night the Labour MP for Leicester South, abstained in the vote. He has lost to independent candidate Shockat Adam, a local businessman, by 979 votes. Mr.Adam had criticised established parties for failing to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying people had been met with silence from political leaders and “further facilitation of death and destruction”.  

In Dewsbury and Batley, former Labour MP Heather Iqbal lost to Independent Iqbal Mohamed, also on The Muslim Vote list.

In Blackburn, Independent candidate Adnan Hussain, again on The Muslim Vote list, beat Labour former MP Kate Hollern. 

In Ilford North, Labour’s Wes Streeting, former shadow health secretary, who abstained, saw his vote go down by 33 per cent, narrowly clinging on to his seat by 528 votes over Independent candidate Leanne Mohamad, also on The Muslim Vote list.. 

Well known Christians in parliament who lost their seats

Fiona Bruce, the former Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion, has lost her seat in Congleton to Labour with a 30 per cent drop in her vote.

Sir Stephen Timms won in East Ham with a majority of 12,863 over Tahir Mirza, an independent candidate supported by The Workers Party.

Tim Farron, standing in Westmorland and Lonsdale, a new constituency considered a safe Conservative seat, won with a resounding reault – 31,061 votes over the Conservative candidate with 9,589 votes.

Andrew Selous, the second church estates commissioner, lost in the new seat of Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard, by just 667 votes to Labour’s Alex Mayer.

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge and co-chair of the New Social Covenant Unit, lost to Labour’s Dr Marie Tidball. The other co-chair, Danny Kruger, is back, after winning the new seat of East Wiltshire.

Therese Coffey, a Conservative and practising Catholic, lost Suffolk coastal to Jenny Riddell-Carpenter, Labour.

Nick Fletcher, evangelical Christian and former MP for Don Valley, lost in the new seat of Doncaster East and the Isle of Axholme, to Labour’s Lee Pitcher.

The Guardian has a searchable map of seats with full election results here 

Other news

CofE synod meets today amid another row over same sex blessings

The Church of England General Synod starts its July meeting in York today. The agenda includes another debate on same sex blessings, amidst another furioous row. “The Alliance”, a group of  CofE conservatives including Holy Trinity Brompton leaders, has vowed to launch a parallel province if synod pursues stand alone services of blessing for same sex  couples. Eleven CofE bishops appealed for more time to consider proposals. The Bishop of Oxford criticised  The Alliance saying the prospect of a parallel province would be a “deep and disproportionate schism” in the Church of England. But alternative CofE “overseers”, leaders against same sex blessings who will offer pastoral and spritual help usually given by bishops, will be sworn in at a church service next Friday, 12 July.. “Thinking Anglicans” has helpfully assembled all the various documents from both sides of the debate here.

Two Tear Fund staff attacked and killed in DRC

Tear Fund has announced the deaths of two aid workers, killed in an attack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last Sunday. A statement says the staff members were travelling in a convoy when they were attacked and killed. Nigel Harris, Tearfund CEO, said he was utterly devastated and the news was a huge shock to everyone at Tear Fund.

High ranking Vatican official gives evidence in High Court case

Pope Francis’ chief of staff, Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, appeared at a High Court case in London yesterday, answering questions on his involvement in the Holy See’s 350 euro investment in a mansion block in Chelsea. He denied lying in relation to the filing of an invoice. The Archbishop is one of the highest-ranking Holy See officials to testify in a foreign court. The civil case has been brought by Raffaele Mincione, a British Italian financier, who is trying to clear his name in relation to the investment, saying he acted in good faith.


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