Warsi: The coalition ‘does God’

By Ian Dunt

The coalition government wants to promote the role of faith in British society, the Tory party chairman has said.

Sayeeda Warsi told an audience of Church of England Bishops that the Labour government had viewed religion with a disdain typified by Alastair Campbell’s pronouncement that “we don’t do God”.

On the eve of the Pope’s state visit to Britain, she argued that David Cameron’s Big Society agenda opened a door for faith groups to play a wider role in the provision of public services.

“If anyone suggests that this government does not understand, does not appreciate, does not defend people of faith, dare I even say, does not ‘do God’, then I hope my schedule this week will go some way to banishing that myth,” she said.

Labour viewed religion as “essentially a rather quaint relic of our pre-industrial history”, she added.

“They were also too suspicious of faith’s potential for contributing to society – behind every faith-based charity, they sensed the whiff of conversion and exclusivity.”

Baroness Warsi is the first Muslim to sit in Cabinet