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Politicians urged to calm their language around Brexit

Politicians have been urged to calm their language by Church of England bishops as concerns continue about the inflammatory tone of the Brexit debate.

In a joint statement, the 118 members of the College of Bishops said: "In the last few days the use of language, both in debates and outside parliament, has been unacceptable.

MPs have been urged to reflect on the language they use when debating Brexit
MPs have been urged to reflect on the language they use when debating Brexit

"We should speak to others with respect... we should not denigrate, patronise or ignore the honest views of fellow citizens but seek to respect their opinions, their participation in society, and their votes.

"We call on politicians to adhere rigorously to the rule of law and on all to respect and uphold the impartiality of the courts and our judiciary.

"It is easy to descend into division and abuse – climbing out and finding unity again takes far longer.

"Further entrenching our divisions, whether from uncertainty or from partisanship, is not worthy of our country nor the leadership we now need."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, told The Times: "The foundations of our unity and way of life are being challenged.

"There needs to be a cooling of tempers on all sides in order to enable people to try to come to an agreement to see what solution can unite the country and do what has to be done."

The rancourous nature of the debate in parliament has led to criticism that MPs are stepping over the mark in terms of what is acceptable.

Maidstone MP Helen Grant was among those who have called for politicians to moderate their language and expressed concern about the impact on finding people willing to stand for election.

She said in the Commons the nasty and aggressive tone from all sides was "stopping many, many women and some men from coming forward to this place [parliament] to be safe and to enjoy themselves and feeling that this is a place where they can achieve something."

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