'No services from religious groups'

Statutory public services should not be contracted out to religious charities, according to a report by the British Humanist Association.

The report says allowing religious organisations to run public services could lead to discrimination, deter people from using services and result in the "artificial boosting" of the organisations with public money.

"It is our firm view that no publicly funded, comprehensive and statutory public service, to which all citizens have an entitlement, should be contracted out to a religious organisation," the report says.

Alan Staff, director of social care at Christian charity CrossReach, said: "Our services are provided for people of all faiths - we do not discriminate in the recruitment of staff."

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