Williams to speak over bishops vote
THE Archbishop of Canterbury will make a statement today after legislation paving the way for the first women bishops narrowly failed to clear its final hurdle at the General Synod of the Church of England.
Dr Rowan Williams is due to speak as the Church’s national assembly gathers after the draft legislation was carried in the Houses of bishops and clergy in the General Synod but failed to gain the necessary two thirds majority amongst lay members.
His statement will come after an emergency meeting of the Church of England bishops following the narrow defeat.
‘2,409 children sexually exploited’
THOUSANDS of children each year are being sexually exploited by gangs and groups in England, according to an interim report.
Figures published midway through a two-year inquiry found 2,409 children and young people were confirmed victims between August 2010 and October 2011.
A further 16,500 children were at “high risk” of sexual exploitation between April 2010 and March 2011 a probe by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, which is a non-departmental public body, revealed.
Appeal due over jailed SAS sniper
LAWYERS for an SAS sniper jailed for illegal possession of a weapon will lodge their appeal today.
Sgt Danny Nightingale, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military detention after admitting possessing a prohibited firearm and ammunition.
The father-of-two is currently being held in the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester, Essex.
Borrowing figures to be unveiled
CHANCELLOR George Osborne’s deficit-busting plans will come under further pressure today as the last borrowing figures before his autumn statement are revealed.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding financial interventions such as bank bailouts, is forecast by Capital Economics to creep up to £8 billion for October, compared to £5.9 billion in the same month last year.
The Chancellor wants to record borrowing for the full year 2012/2013 of £120 billion, compared with £121.6 billion in the previous year, but economists have warned this is looking increasingly unlikely.
Tax avoidance cases mount for HMRC
THE Treasury is losing billions of pounds in revenue due to the failure of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to clamp down effectively on aggressive tax avoidance schemes, the Whitehall spending watchdog warned today.
The National Audit Office (NAO) disclosed that HMRC is currently dealing with a backlog of 41,000 cases still open relating to schemes aimed at small businesses and individuals – with £10.2 billion of tax revenue at stake.
The scale of the potential avoidance was described as “eye-watering” by senior MPs.