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No abuse 'cover-up', says former Archbishop of York

Lord Hope of Thornes, the former Archbishop of York, has denied he was involved in "covering up" allegations that a senior Church of England clergyman abused children.

The Times newspaper today reported that the Very Rev Robert Waddington stands accused of abusing choirboys and school pupils.

I didn’t report to the police. With hindsight, probably there ought to have been [a report]. He [Robert Waddington] was in such a fragile and frail state.

I would strongly resist any suggestion that I was in the business of covering up anything. I would absolutely deny that. There’s no way I was interested in any cover up.

– Lord Hope of Thornes

Former Archbishop of York accused of 'abuse cover-up'

The former Archbishop of York has been accused of covering up allegations that a senior Church of England clergyman abused choirboys and school pupils, the Times (£) has reported.

The Very Rev Robert Waddington is a former Dean of Manchester Cathedral Credit: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

The paper says Lord Hope of Thornes was made aware of allegations against the Very Rev Robert Waddington in 1993 and 2003, but did not report the concerns to police or child protection agencies.

The alleged abuse by Waddington, who died in 2007, and the Church’s inaction has been reported after a joint investigation by The Times and The Australian newspaper.

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Archbishop of York calls on Health Secretary to intervene over suspension of children's heart surgery

The Archbishop of York has called on the Health Secretary to intervene over the controversial suspension of the children's heart surgery unit in Leeds.

Dr John Sentamu visited the threatened unit and prayed with parents of poorly children today. It comes after doctors at the unit described claims by senior NHS managers that death rates there are twice the national average as "inaccurate and misleading."

Dr Sentamu said that if the data is wrong then the medical director of NHS England Sir Bruce Keogh has serious questions to answer.

Archbishop warns defence cuts risk UK's safety

The Archbishop of York has warned that severe defence cuts in Britain will "risk the safety of the nation and the peace of the world".

While delivering his Christmas message to armed forces serving overseas, Dr John Sentamu said Government plans to replace thousands of full-time soldiers with reservists was a bad idea as a "very well trained, professional service" needed to be maintained.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has issued a warning over defence cuts Credit: ITV News

He told the British Forces Broadcasting Service, "My greatest anxiety ... is that these defence cuts need to be done with far, far greater sensitivity because we live still in a world that is very fragile and there are people out there still, wanting to do harm to ... many, many people".

"To replace professionally-trained, full-time serving soldiers with part-timers, I'm afraid, for me, I don't think that can be the backbone of the British Army," the Archbishop continued.

He also paid tribute to the British forces' role as peacekeepers in Afghanistan, calling them "the bravest of the brave", and said he prayed daily for them.

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Archbishop of York: Defence cuts 'compromise UK safety'

The Archbishop of York warned that defence cuts will compromise Britain's safety as he delivered his Christmas message overseas. In an interview with British Forces Broadcasting Service, Dr John Sentamu said:

"My greatest anxiety... is that these defence cuts need to be done with far, far greater sensitivity because we live still in a world that is very fragile and there are people out there still, wanting to do harm to ... many, many people.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu warns of consequences over defence cuts. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

He added: "To replace professionally trained, full time serving soldiers with part-timers, I'm afraid, for me, I don't think that can be the backbone of the British army."

Archbishop of York praises 'brave' soldiers

The Archbishop of York paid tribute to the UK forces Credit: ITV News

The Archbishop of York said that the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan were doing a "very important job" and that troops should not be pulled out of the war early.

Dr John Sentamu said: "People should go back and remember Britain did not go in there because it decided.

"This was a unanimous vote and mandate that al Qaeda had to be disrupted, that the Taliban were actually treating their women very badly and that you could create towards peace and the only way was actually to go in and disrupt al Qaeda.

"I want to believe myself we've done a lot of disruption in the fact that Osama Bin Laden is no longer posing the same threat now.

"It seems to me that the British soldiers, who in my book are the best, were doing it not just for the UK, people must remember this - they were doing it for the global village."

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