Separating church and state will be better for all faiths, says Nick Clegg

By Charlotte Oliver, April 24, 2014
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (Photo: David Angell)

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (Photo: David Angell)

Church and state should be separated, and the Queen removed as head of the church, Nick Clegg has said.

Speaking on his LBC radio show on Thursday, the deputy prime minister said it would be “better for the Church and better for people of faith, and better for Anglicans, if the church and the state were over time to stand on their own two separate feet.”

But despite calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England, Mr Clegg insisted he had no problem in saying that Britain had an “important Christian identity and heritage”.

“That is not to say we are exclusively Christian, everyone is a Christian or indeed that we have one Christian denomination," he added.

“We should remember one of the greatest Christian values is tolerance. We are open to people of other denominations and faiths and none, and that sense of fair play and tolerance is what makes our country very special.”

Mr Clegg spoke following a week of public debate regarding the UK’s religious status after David Cameron described it as a Christian country.

In a pre-Easter article written in The Church Times, the Prime Minister said it was Britain's Christian morals that enabled “greater space for other religious faiths too.”

Last updated: 4:03pm, April 24 2014