Greens and Labour are the most godless
Only 37 percent of parliamentary candidates contesting marginal seats in the coming UK General Election believe in a deity, according to a recent survey by political communications specialist the Whitehouse Consultancy.
The survey found that a third (33.78) of the 225 candidates polled claiming to be atheists.
More than four in ten candidates (42 percent) claimed to have no religious denomination.
The Green Party (49 percent), followed by Labour (48 percent) was found to have the highest percentages of atheist candidates.
The Conservatives have the highest percentage of Church of England candidates (41 percent).
The findings follow a recent Win/Gallup poll that found that only 30 percent of Britons claimed to be religious.
Religions other than Christianity were found to be poorly represented in the Whitehouse Consultancy survey, with only two percent of candidates claiming to be Jewish, two percent claiming to be Muslim and two percent claiming to be Buddhist.
The Whitehouse Consultancy warned the findings suggest a lack of diversity and that more needs to be done to encourage people of different backgrounds to participate in party politics. Chris Whitehouse, Chairman of the consultancy, said:
This survey suggests that the diversity in our society is yet to be reflected in parliamentary politics. I don’t think this is only a question of how candidates are selected. It is also one of how we can encourage more people with a range of beliefs and backgrounds to get involved and be active in politics.
Given recent findings on Britain’s religious beliefs, it’s unsurprising that a majority of parliamentary candidates are either non-religious or atheist.
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, noted that:
There is only an issue with politicians’ religious beliefs if they try to force their religious views on to others. The last parliament has seen some politicians using their positions to evangelise, which is wholly inappropriate – particularly given how irreligious society is today.
Meanwhile, it is reported here that a Muslim Tory candidate – Gulzabeen Afsar, above – has apologised for saying she could never support “the Jew” Ed Miliband, the Labour leader who is in fact an atheist.
Afsar, who is a council candidate in the ward of Littleover in Derby, made the comment on Facebook. She initially posted:
Just can’t take Mr Ed Miliband seriously!! DC has what it takes to be the future PM.
When someone replied that she should show respect for Miliband because he was the “future PM”, she wrote:
Nah bro! never ever will I drop that low and support the al yahud lol.
Al Yahud is Arabic for “the Jew”.
A Conservative spokesman said:
Her comment was offensive and wrong. She has removed it and apologised.