A priest has told Labour MPs that some of them have an “appalling” record on issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

In his sermon at St Magdalen Church in Brighton on Sunday night, Fr Ray Blake lamented the voting record of certain MPs, but also called on those present to live the Gospel “radically” and advance the cause of social justice in Britain.

Fr Blake was speaking at the launch of Catholics for Labour, a group set up to advance Catholic social teaching within the Labour Party and help Catholics who are thinking of entering politics.

MPs present included group founder Mike Kane, shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald and Labour veteran Stephen Pound.

At a reception after the Mass, Mr Pound said he “cannot understand how anyone can be Catholic and not vote Labour”. Another speaker advised Labour against imitating the US Democrats by becoming the party of metropolitan liberalism.

In a statement before the launch, the group said it had “lofty ambitions”. It said: “We are not about standing still or merely making observations of the world around us. Our hearts and minds are firmly focused on social justice, and guided by the teaching of the Catholic faith we will work together to actively shape that world and prepare members for a life in public service.”

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