UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Rejection of gay clergyman as bishop sends CoE into spin

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BRITAIN/

The Church of England has blocked the appointment of a gay clergyman to the role of Bishop of Southwark after a bitter behind-the-scenes battle which has left the conservatives and liberals at loggerheads and possibly weakened the standing of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, media reports said.

Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, was rejected after it was leaked that he was on the Crown Nominations Commission shortlist for the post in south London, one of the most liberal of all the church’s dioceses, the Daily Telegraph said.

It is a second humiliation for the openly gay but celibate John, who seven years ago was forced to stand down from becoming the Bishop of Reading after opposition from evangelicals.

The Archbishop of Canterbury had asked his friend to forgo the Reading post in an attempt to keep the church together, and will be seen as having been central in this week’s decision.

Tabloid trickery versus the right to know

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Probity is Britain’s new watchword. After filleting the bankers over their salaries and bonuses and excoriating MPs for fiddling their expenses we’ve now turned our attention to the antics of journalists.

The News of the World (NOTW) has frequently embarrassed politicians, vicars, footballers and celebrities, but the Sunday red-top is currently itself the target of an expose by a broadsheet.

MPs shoot themselves in foot over expenses

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The online release of MPs’ expense claims has only served to further dent their already battered reputation.

Forty-two days after the Daily Telegraph began to investigate MPs’ expenses the Houses of Parliament finally got round to publishing official details of them. Or rather it didn’t, as lots of key information was blacked out.

Brown flatters, but are we still best of friends, papers ask

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“Brave” was how most of the British press responded to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s speech to both houses of Congress in Washington.

Brown was the first European leader to be invited to Washington by the new U.S. administration and was only the fifth British prime minister to speak to a joint session of Congress.

Palin – the next Thatcher or Diana?

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palin.jpgThe British press, like their American cousins, doesn’t seem to able to get enough of Sarah Palin.

The self-described hunting, shooting and hockey “mom” is the “biggest hot-button political story in the English-speaking world”, says Martin Kettle in The Guardian on Friday.

Thursday’s front pages

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guardian1505.jpg THE GUARDIAN: Recession alert as Brown fights back

Gordon Brown’s drive to recapture the political agenda with a programme of new laws to create “an opportunity-rich Britain” was badly shaken yesterday by King’s warning.

“The nice decade is behind us,” Mervyn King declared in funereal tones, warning that the economy was “travelling along a bumpy road” as he predicted rising prices would put a squeeze on take-home pay for millions of workers.

Wednesday’s front pages

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times-wed-may-14.jpgThe papers are nearly all agreed that Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 2.7 billion pound fix for the 10p tax row is the day’s main story.

Darling seeks end to 10p tax backlash” reports the Financial Times, noting that the move will still leave 1.1 million poorer households worse off following the abolition of the lowest tax band in last year’s budget.

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