To assist voters in deciding how to vote, VfJUK has sent the following questions to leaders of the main Parties, asking for details of their Party’s policy. As they respond, we shall print their answers for comparison on our website. So far only the Christian Peoples’ Alliance have replied. Their responses are included in bold after each question.
1. What is your Party’s position on implementation of the new RSE Regulations? (a) Do you support the parental right to withdraw children from education they deem inappropriate, or in conflict with their religious beliefs, as currently enshrined in UK law under the Human Rights Act 1998? (b) In the formulation of policy by schools, do you uphold the statutory requirement for Consultation with parents? (c) Do you think the outcomes of such Consultation should be binding?
CPA Yes, yes, and yes
2. Given the high rise in numbers of children seeking gender reassignment, with increasing concern on the part of health professionals that they are embarking on life-changing and irreversible treatment without adequate assessment, would your Party support statutory delay to all kinds of medical intervention until such age as it can be demonstrated that the child has a mature, genuine and settled desire for transitioning, and so as to allow time for a full and comprehensive psychological assessment?
CPA Yes, we would make it illegal for any teacher to encourage any school child to consider gender reassignment, certainly under the age of 18.
3. Given that premature babies are now increasingly surviving birth at 21 weeks gestation, and are therefore capable of existence independent of the mother below the current time limit for abortion of 24 weeks, would your Party support a reduction in the time limit to reflect medical advance?
CPA We would take urgent action to reduce abortions by giving the unborn child rights not to suffer pain and not to be killed after a heartbeat is detected. We would aim over time to ban all abortion. Protecting the unborn is one of our core issues.
4. Under the Equality Act 2010, religion or belief is listed as a protected characteristic of equal value to the eight other protected characteristics. Increasingly, in the public square, however, the protected rights relating to sex, sexual orientation, and gender reassignment, seem to be prioritised over those of religion, seen most particularly in the areas of free speech, and the right to manifest belief. What approach would your Party take to resolve this problem and to affirm equal protection for all human rights? Would you uphold the rights of believers to express and practise their faith without intimidation?
CPA Our policy is open debate in schools, universities, and on the media, so that everyone has a chance to put their point of view and be listened to. It is our sincere belief that the more open debate there is, the more people will come to see Christianity is the truth. We would reduce aid to any country if they are persecuting Christians and imprisoning them. If the persecution continues, the aid would keep going down until it reaches zero.
5. In light of mounting pressure to permit expression of only those views deemed ‘politically acceptable’, what measures, if any, would your Party take to uphold genuine democracy and the right to freedom of speech for all? How would you ensure that the views of ‘ordinary’ people, holding traditional values, are upheld and respected?
CPA We would take steps to encourage moral education in schools. Our plan is not to indoctrinate children into Christianity, but genuinely to allow all different points of view to be properly explained. Christianity must be a key part of every curriculum, but not the sole part. Freedom of speech is already enshrined in the law, but we would make sure it is properly enforced.
6. How would your party prioritise spending in the NHS? And what measures would your Party take to protect the right to life of the terminally ill?
CPA We would take strong steps to strengthen family values by giving opposite sex couples £12,000 when they get married, provided they go for at least 5 sessions of marriage training. We would then give another £6,000 when they have their first child, again backed up by training. The aim is to make it foolish not to get married and have children in wedlock and so receive the grants. This should mean a much happier more healthy society, but we would maintain NHS spending while waiting for these measures to have an effect on society. We would never allow assisted dying in any way shape or form. We would do a review of social care and look at ways to improve it.
As other Parties respond, we shall add their replies.