Bishop of Burnley calls on MPs to end 'toxic' language over Brexit

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North
The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North

The Bishop of Burnley has called on MPs to put an end to their "toxic" language over Brexit and said there must be unity and reconciliation across the country.

The Rt Rev. Philip North was speaking to the Burnley Express following an open letter from senior Church of England bishops condemning recent angry scenes in Parliament over the Brexit issue.

Bishop Philip said: "We must ask what kind of country do we want after Brexit.

"The country is in a vulnerable state at the moment and it's important we have unity and reconciliation moving forward.

"MPs of all parties must reunite the nation so we can focus on other important issues such as saving the planet, schools and hospitals."

Bishop Philip said MPs must be especially careful not to use inflammatory language which could influence certain sections of the population and create civil disorder or worse, such as the murder of MP Jo Cox.

He also said the public must play their part in respecting the nation's institutions that hold the Government to account, namely Parliament, the judiciary and the media.

He added: "There's a mood of disrespect at the moment against institutions that protect us against abuse of power and hold governments to account.

"If we don't solve this then we are drifting towards tyranny.

"We have certain politicians at the moment who are taking advantage of division in order to gain long-term electoral gain."

Bishop Philip ended by saying the result of the referendum to leave the EU must be honoured but leave in a way that helps to create unity across the nation.