Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for "whingeing Remainers" comment
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has apologised after commenting that “whinging” Remainers should accept the outcome of the 2016 Brexit vote. Justin Welby took to Facebook to apologise for previous comments made against Remain campaigners, where he said: “I expressed myself carelessly and insensitively in the moment.” Welby added: “Christians are expected by the Bible to ‘walk in the light’ – to admit when they go wrong.” Previously, in an interview with the Church Times, the leader of the Church of England said: “We have to take seriously the fact that the majority voted Leave. We may not like it, but that is democracy.” “That means we have to stop whinging about it and do something about reuniting the country.” The comments came after it was revealed that the Archbishop would be chairing a ‘citizen’s forum’ to discuss Brexit. A request from six MPs, including Frank Field, an ex-Labour MP once described by the Daily Telegraph as the 100th “most influential” right-winger in the UK, to chair the forum was accepted by the Archbishop. Welby agreed to host the forum, under the condition that the talks were not a “Trojan horse” with the aim to prevent Brexit. It was also suggested that the talks would be conducted after the UK had left the European Union in order to overcome divisions gained from the state the UK leaves in. Welby had previously spoken in favor of the European Union before the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum was realised, but has since changed to a pro-Brexit stance following the vote.
The comments were met with widespread condemnation from prominent Brexiteers, including Iain Duncan Smith, who said: “I generally don’t criticize the Archbishop but he shouldn’t allow himself to be tempted into what is essentially a very political issue.” This political controversy follows hotly on the heels of the equally controversial Lambeth Conference, which is planned to be held at the University of Kent. As part of the event the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion stated “that it would be inappropriate for same sex spouses to be invited to the conference”. Due to several complaints made to the university, it has since decided to provide accommodation on campus for those spouses affected by this decision.