THE Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow has sharply criticised UK Government policy in his Easter sermon.

In the sermon yesterday the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth referred to the government as trying to bring about a culture war around the asylum system.

He said: “In recent weeks, in between stirring up negativity towards transgender people and promoting economic policies that make food banks multiply, the government has chosen to slip in a culture war around the asylum system, using those arriving in small boats as ammunition in that culture war. The policy of refusing to consider asylum for those arriving in such boats is reckless, heartless and lawless.

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“This country has legal obligations to deal with such people fairly. Re-instating a form of transportation to the other side of the world is neither fair, proportionate nor just.”

Speaking before the service, the Provost said: “The UK Government is pitting itself against the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

“The rights defined in that declaration apply to everyone including those who arrive in small boats. Indeed they apply especially to the vulnerable and the fearful however they arrive in the UK.”

Referring to economic policy decision making, he said, “Some people in my congregation donate to food banks and some use food banks. Up and down the land, people know that it is government austerity economics that have led to massive increases in the need for food banks to feed the hungry.

“Every politician at every election needs to be asked what they will do to end the need for food banks in this country.”