Statement from The Rt. Hon. Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden & Second Church Estates Commissioner:

"Today I co-signed a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, asking him to chair a Citizens’ Forum that will seek to bring people together and address national divisions that have emerged in the wake of the 2016 referendum.

"I have signed this letter in my capacity as Second Church Estates Commissioner. In this role, I represent the Church of England in Parliament and so I have been involved in coordinating discussions between the Archbishop and senior MPs.

"I would like to stress that this initiative does not intend to delay, disrupt or prevent Brexit. It will examine all possible Brexit outcomes and, at the outset, will not prejudice one in favour of any other. It is envisaged that meetings of this Forum would span either side of 31st October.

"I would also like to reiterate my support for Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. This Citizens’ Forum initiative does not intend to contradict the approach of the Government. If a deal cannot be agreed, it remains the legal reality that the UK will leave the EU without a deal on October 31st.