Eluned Morgan –
Would the business Secretary make a statement on the recent appointment process for the Bishop of Llandaff in the light of reports that Jeffrey John, the current Dean of St Albans, was rejected from the post on the basis of his sexual orientation, despite the backing of the majority of the electoral college and the unanimous support of the Llandaff electors? Whilst I, of course, understand that there is a process of spiritual discernment in the selection of a bishop, this is also a matter that relates to employment. So, would the Cabinet Secretary, in that statement, state whether she thinks it would be appropriate to refer the Church of Wales to the Equality and Human Rights Commission in order to investigate whether the Church in Wales is in breach of the Equality Act 2010, relating to its employment recruitment processes, which the Church in Wales itself claims to adhere to on its own website?
Jane Hutt –
I thank Eluned Morgan for that question. I’m aware of the concerns that have been raised by reports that a candidate for appointment as the Bishop of Llandaff has been excluded from the appointment process on the grounds of his sexual orientation. It’s very clear, of course, in terms of the Church in Wales, disestablished, that the process, as the Member has said, for the appointment of its bishops is a matter for the Church in Wales electoral college and church constituents. The Church in Wales, I also understand, is not covered by the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to respond to the Member’s question this afternoon, and to say that the Welsh Government is opposed to discrimination on the basis of sexuality, and our position in this regard has been consistent and remains very clear.