Anglicans fell just two votes short of getting what they wanted

"No, Father, you got that wrong - it was six votes" I hear you say.

In fact I am referring to the vote of 1992 in favour of women priests. Back then, those who opposed women priests lost by just two votes.

But of course that was a great triumph of democracy and there was no need for the Prime Minister to say in the House of Commons how sad he was, or for a team of lawyers to start investigating ways of getting round the vote, or for all right-thinking MPs to witter on for over half an hour's parliamentary time saying how dreadful it is, and that something should be done.

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