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MP seeks statement on bishops vote

Equalities Minister Maria Miller could make a Commons statement on the Church of England's decision to reject women bishops, Speaker John Bercow said.

Mr Bercow suggested Mrs Miller might update MPs on the General Synod's surprise move on Tuesday to maintain its position on banning women from running dioceses.

Labour MP Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) demanded to know "what this means in terms of the continuing discrimination of having only men eligible to sit in the House of Lords as bishops".

She highlighted the "extraordinary decision" as she raised a Commons point of order asking for a statement from Conservative MP Sir Tony Baldry, who represents the Church Commissioners.

Mr Bercow told her: "You may wish to explore whether the Minister for Women and Equalities has any responsibilities in relation to this matter, and whether there are avenues by which you may pursue this issue.

"It is certainly open to the Minister for Women and Equalities to make a statement to the House."

The Speaker said there were "very strong voices of opinion" in the Commons from all sides following the Synod's decision.

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