MPs welcome IF campaigners at Westminster
Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the work of the Catholic charity Cafod during a mass lobby by more than 250 nuns, monks, friars, priests and bishops in support of a campaign for more political action to reduce global hunger.
The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, of which Cafod is a founder member, is bringing together over 200 development and faith-based organisations and is lobbying ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland next month.
Meeting the Religious in Westminster Hall, where Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 issued a passionate defence of the role of faith in public life, Mr Miliband described Cafod as "a fantastic organisation ... that is literally changing and saving lives around the world." He added: "I warmly endorse the IF campaign."
Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan told the Religious their enthusiasm was needed to help win the argument on aid to developing countries.
Some 57 MPs came to speak to their constituents, including Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Ivan Lewis, Sadiq Khan, Julian Huppert, Glenda Jackson, Jane Ellison, Lady Sylia Hermon, David Lammy, Stephen Timms, Andrew Selous and Nicola Blackwood.
Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ, a lecturer in theology at Heythrop College, said: "Religious people are a force to be reckoned with. They've been on the front line at home and abroad and have stared human misery in the face. They may look like old ladies but they are tigresses. They have seen stuff that would make an ordinary person weak at the knees."