David Cameron has reacted strongly to the claims by the Archbishop of Canterbury that the coalition government is forcing through “radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted”.

The Prime Minister said that he “profoundly disagreed” with most of comments made by Rowan Williams.

“I think the Archbishop of Canterbury is entirely free to express political views. I have never been one to say that the Church should fight shy of making political interventions,” said Cameron during a press conference while visiting Northern Ireland.

“But what I would say is that I profoundly disagree with many of the views that he has expressed, particularly on issues like debt and welfare and education.”

The most senior cleric in the church of England launched his attack on Number 10 in the left-leaning New Statesman magazine when guest editing the publication.

Williams claimed the government was facing “bafflement and indignation” over its health and education plans. He went on to say that “with remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted. At the very least, there is an understandable anxiety about what democracy means in such a context.”

He added, “The anxiety and anger have to do with the feeling that not enough has been exposed to proper public argument.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair weighed in suggesting that there is long standing tradition of archbishops criticising government.

“Obviously people used to criticise our policies not just on Iraq and foreign policy but on domestic policy and reform as well. It’s just part of the way things work”, he said.

 

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