It would be remiss of me, would it not, if I didn’t pass a teensy bit of comment on this story.
On Sunday, Mr Tremlett, the 46-year-old Canon of Bristol Cathedral, said he was not in a position to comment, but the move was criticised by his congregation. He is said to favour the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican-born priest and the current vicar of a hugely deprived parish in east London. She is set to be named within days as the chaplain in the first such appointment to the centuries-old role.
Sources close to the negotiations said Mr Bercow refused to accept “another white middle aged man” and instead wanted a â€œpriest with the personal and popular touchâ€. Sally Barnes, spokesman for Women and the Church, backed the decision saying Mrs Hudson-Wilkin was a â€œworthy candidateâ€. â€œShe is a women with great strengths, abilities and gifts,” she added.
It is the latest controversy to surround the Speaker who has been criticised for refusing to wear the traditional Speakerâ€™s outfit and giving his grace-and-favour Westminster apartment a Â£45,000 refit.
Do you know what disturbs me about this. It’s not Rose Hudson-Wilkin isn’t by all accounts terrifically good at what she does, and if you’re going to have a female chaplain she’s so obviously the lady for the job. No, it’s the fact that a white, male, middle-class man says he doesn’t want a white, male, middle-class man doing the job. But it’s not just the frightening irony and hypocrisy of the thing. Imagine if Bercow had been reported saying he didn’t want a black woman doing the job?
If I were Canon Tremlett I would sue for discrimination of grounds of sex and race. Does anybody know if one could lodge an official complaint with the police?