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Almost half of Brits think the Archbishop of Canterbury should keep his political views to himself. Welfare, tax and inequality are just some of the things Justin Welby has spoken out against this year. A YouGov poll for the Times asked whether his interventions were appropriate following criticism from politicians. 44 per cent said they weren’t, 35 per cent said they were with 21 per cent saying they didn’t know. When asked specifically about what he had said this year, the majority of people sided with him. Earlier this month, the archbishop denied he had gone too far in his political statements.

Defending himself on the BBC he said: “If I read what the prophets and what Jesus said, then I haven’t gone too far. “I’m not party political, I simply try to speak from the Christian scriptures about the values Jesus put forward himself.” In response to the YouGov poll, Lambeth Palace said staying silent would be like ripping out whole sections of the Bible: “The archbishop has been asked by some to stay out of politics. “His response is that is not what Jesus did. No wing of party politics, left or right, can claim God as being on its side. “But Jesus was highly political and if we are to follow him then we must share his concern for justice, the poor and the most vulnerable.”

Source: Premier News Service