Archbishop of York: the English feel left behind by the London elite

The Archbishop of York said the British feel “left behind” by the “metropolitan elites” in London.

Stephen Cottrell, the second oldest clergyman in the Church of England after the Archbishop of Canterbury, criticized those who “hang out” with people for their pride in being English.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Archbishop called on England to “rediscover national unity” and urged a strengthened regional government in the country to better serve local communities.

Mr Cottrell recently took over the leadership of the church when the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby took a three-month sabbatical (Danny Lawson / PA)

He said: “Many English people feel left behind by the metropolitan elites of London and the South East, as well as the decentralized governments and strengthened regional identities in Scotland and Wales.

“Their sincere cry to be heard is often ignored, willfully misunderstood, or patronized as being a retrograde xenophobic.”

On devolution to the English, Mr Cottrell wrote in his article for the newspaper: “What we need is a broad view of what it means to be English in the context of the UK.

“This is what will help us rediscover a national unity that is more fractured today than I have ever known in my lifetime.

“A first foundation would be a more developed and strengthened regional government in England.”

Mr Cottrell, who recently took over the leadership of the church when Justin Welby took a three-month sabbatical, said this would allow Westminster to lead issues for the UK but ’empower’ nations and regions separated.

He also suggested that sports teams in England sing their own anthem before a match if they are playing against other British nations, before coming together to sing the national anthem, God Save The Queen.

“Then when the different nations of the UK come face to face on the sports ground, we could sing our English, Scottish, Welsh and North Irish anthems,” he said.

“Then sing our national anthem together. And love our neighbor.


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