Churches to be consulted in review of blasphemy law

An attempt to repeal the blasphemy law in the House of Commons has been withdrawn after the Government indicated it would support repeal in the Lords.

The Government said that churches, particularly the Church of England, would need to be consulted as part of a review.

Subject to its conclusions, the Government would then put forward an amendment to repeal the laws when the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill is in the House of Lords.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “It was right that there was a proper consultation before there was any change in the legislation. The Government was not proposing a change in the law today; what it was proposing was that there needed to be a proper consultation.”

In light of the Government announcement, Liberal Democrat MP, Dr Evan Harris, an honorary member of the National Secular Society, withdrew an amendment to get rid of the law.

Repeal of the blasphemy law is supported by all three main parties, although the Conservatives say they will allow a free vote. Humanly speaking, it is therefore highly unlikely that the law can be retained.