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US News Archbishop of Canterbury faces backlash after suggesting Boris Johnson is pouring 'petrol' on divisions in UK with his Brexit rhetoric

07:45  28 october  2019
07:45  28 october  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby arrives for the Sung Eucharist Easter service at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby arrives for the Sung Eucharist Easter service at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Archbishop of Canterbury faced a backlash yesterday after he suggested Boris Johnson and other MPs were pouring 'petrol' on divisions in the country with their rhetoric over Brexit.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby said it was 'extraordinarily dangerous for politicians to use careless comments' in the current climate.

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While not aiming his comments at any one individual, he made clear he was shocked by the PM's recent dismissal of complaints by Labour MPs that his language was putting lives at risk as 'humbug'.

The Archbishop, who voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, said: 'Death threats are really serious and they need to be taken seriously. 

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'All sides need to say, "That is totally and utterly unacceptable".'

He said that, in the age of social media 'which amplifies things', today's political leaders should not use 'inflammatory' words.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet at Guildhall in London, Britain, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls © Thomson Reuters Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet at Guildhall in London, Britain, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

'In a time of deep uncertainty, a much smaller amount of petrol is a much more dangerous thing than it was in a time when people were secure,' he added.

But yesterday Eurosceptic MPs condemned the Archbishop for his intervention, which came in an interview with The Sunday Times.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Middleton Primary School In Milton Keynes, Britain, October 25, 2019. Paul Grover/Pool via REUTERS © Thomson Reuters British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Middleton Primary School In Milton Keynes, Britain, October 25, 2019. Paul Grover/Pool via REUTERS

Tory David Morris said: 'The divisions over Brexit are not Boris's fault – they reflect the deeply held beliefs of ordinary Britons.

'I fear these unfair public attacks will add to, and not reduce, tensions in the country.'

Mark Francois, deputy chairman of the European Research Group, said: 'The Archbishop is sounding increasingly like a frustrated politician so perhaps he should abandon his pulpit and stand for election.' 

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usr: 3
This is interesting!