THE Bishop of Worcester has received hate mail and death threats after speaking out on Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham during lockdown.

Bishop John Inge tweeted that he'd received an email warning “stay out of politics or we’ll kill you” after he criticised Boris Johnson’s “risible defence” of Mr Cummings on Sunday night.

Bishop John said: “On Sunday night I commented that I felt the British people, who have made such sacrifices for the common good, deserved a better explanation for Dominic Cummings’ conduct during the lockdown than had been given by the Prime Minister that evening.

“My intervention gave rise to much media interest, although for the sake of clarity, I did not call for the resignation of Dominic Cummings.

“In the last 24 hours I have received a great deal of correspondence, much of it supportive, some opposed and some very offensive, including a death threat which read simply ‘Keep out of politics or we will kill you.’

“One of my favourite Desmond Tutu quotes is ‘When people say that religion and politics don’t mix, I wonder which bible it is they are reading.’ He received huge numbers of death threats as a result of his conviction that the pursuit of justice is at the heart of what Jesus asks of us.

“I see this not as a matter of politics but of life and death. If trust in Government advice is not restored, we shall face a second spike in infections by the dreadful virus and thousands will lose their lives.”

He later added on Twitter: “The Dean of Worcester, always the pastor, has rung to express regret over my death threat and offer to begin planning my funeral.”

“I’m very touched by his support. He’s reminded me that at moments of acute emotional tension, it helps to focus on a few practical tasks.”

The Worcester News previously reported how Bishop John had criticised Mr Cummings for not making the same sacrifices as other families during the coronavirus pandemic.

He stepped into the political debate about the Prime Minister’s chief adviser travelling to County Durham with his family. Mr Cummings travelled 260 miles with his family in March to be near relatives at a family farm in the North East when he and his wife developed coronavirus symptoms. He said he made the journey to self-isolate with his family - he said he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son - but official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.