UK news in brief

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Bishop of Norwich to chair inquiry into jailed surgeon

AN INDEPENDENT inquiry into the malpractice of a breast surgeon, Ian Paterson, who carried out hundreds of botched operations, is to be chaired by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James. Mr Paterson was found guilty in April of 17 counts of wounding patients with intent in April, after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court. He received a 20-year prison sentence. The inquiry will begin in January.


Children ask Home Office for Christmas gift of citizenship

CHILDREN and young people in Santa Claus hats delivered a sack of letters to the Home Office on Wednesday, calling on the Home Secretary to cut the cost of citizenship, by removing the profit element from the application fee. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has joined their campaign. Citizens UK estimates that 65,000 migrant children and young people in the UK have a legal right to citizenship, but says that many families cannot afford the fees, from which the charity calculates that the Home Office is doing far more than covering the costs. Leader comment, page 16


‘Battered’ Peter Ball approaches RC Church

A FORMER Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, sentenced in 2015 to 32 months in prison for a series of offences against teenage boys and young men (News, 9 October 2015), and his twin, the Rt Revd Michael Ball, a former Bishop of Truro, are seeking to join the Roman Catholic Church to “live and worship in anonymity”, the BBC reported last week. In an email mistakenly sent to a BBC South East reporter, Bishop Michael Ball stated that events had “wearied and reduced us” and that they had been “battered by the Church”. The RC diocese of Arundel & Brighton confirmed that Peter Ball had been in contact with the diocese of Clifton, “expressing an interest in becoming a member of the Catholic Church”, and that discussions were under way with statutory authorities concerning “risk management in the community”.


Knitted angels adorn Cornish town

NINE hundred knitted angels placed in trees and on doorsteps in Torpoint are the handiwork of people at the parish church, St James the Great, it was revealed this week. The creations carry the label: “I’m a Christmas blessing. Please keep me.” The Assistant Curate, the Revd Claire McIroy, told the BBC that some had ended up on the graves of people who had died during the year. One of the knitters, Samm Bickle, was motivated by overhearing a resident say last Christmas that the town had “no Christmas spirit”.


Christian Aid welcomes PM’s electric-car pledge

THE Prime Minister’s commitment, made this week at the One Planet Summit in Paris, to making the UK the global leader in electric vehicles has been welcomed by Christian Aid. “The UK is striking back at Donald Trump’s misguided promotion of coal by leading the Powering Past Coal Alliance along with Canada and others,” the charity’s International Climate Lead, Mohamed Adow, said. He also praised the World Bank for announcing that it would stop financing oil and gas exploration and extraction projects from 2019.


ExxonMobil yields to shareholder pressure

EXXONMOBIL has agreed to provide information to its shareholders on “energy demand sensitivities, implications of two degree Celsius scenarios, and positioning for a lower-carbon future”: a victory for a resolution filed by investors, including the Church Commissioners (News, 9 June) which was initially resisted by the board. “Given its track record, shareholder engagement will not work with ExxonMobil,” a statement from Operation Noah said. “The Church of England should divest from Exxon now.”

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