Bishop apologises after row over ‘disrespectful’ Tory tweet

Tuesday 8th June 2021 7:22 am
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An Aberystwyth Conservative and church member has expressed “disappointment” after the Bishop of St Davids made a public apology over a controversial social media post.

Bishop Joanna Penberthy posted ‘never never never trust a Tory’ on her personal Twitter account in response to a tweet relating to the Conservative party.

The Right Rev Penberthy, who became the first woman bishop in the Church in Wales in 2016, issued an apology on the Diocese of St Davids website.

Ewan Lawry, one of the deputy chairmen of the Ceredigion Conservative Association and a committee member in Holy Trinity Church, Aberystwyth, said that the tweet was “unfortunate” and that he had written to her “to express my personal disappointment that one of our church leaders feels so strongly about those of us who are staunch members of the Church in Wales”.

“Though I am aware that this would not have arisen without the Twitter pile-on, and I am keen to not be aligned with anyone being nasty to the Bishop, I feel it is worth emphasising the point that our faith is beyond and above petty political divides,” he said.

“I am sure that there is a lesson in this for all of us about the dangers of hasty tweets but it is so regrettable that a great many of my co-religionists are now unavoidably aware of the contempt with which we are held by our clergy.”

Bishop Penberthy, in her apology, said she regretted the ‘irresponsible and disrespectful’ way in which she had expressed her ‘strong political views’ on Twitter.

“On 25 March, I put out a private tweet about Conservative Party supporters which has caused offence and for which I sincerely apologise,” the Bishop said.

“I, of course, trust and have trusted many Conservatives and know there are many honourable people in that party.

“I have now closed my account down.”

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