British Prime Minister David Cameron has defended his deficit-cutting policies following the most outspoken political attack by a head of the Church of England in two decades.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told the left-leaning New Statesman that “no-one voted” for the “radical” austerity measures being “pushed” through by the coalition.
During a visit to Northern Ireland, Cameron told reporters: “I think the Archbishop of Canterbury should be entirely free to express political views. I have never been one to say the Church has to fight shy of making political interventions.
“But I would say that I profoundly disagree with many of the views that he’s expressed particularly on issues like debt, and on welfare and education.”
The Conservative-Liberal coalition wants to eliminate Britain’s budget deficit within four years by raising taxes and sacking civil servants.
Williams’ criticism echoes one of his predecessors, Robert Runcie, who was a vocal critic of Margaret Thatcher’s social policies.