Decision imminent on Archbishop of Canterbury
The secretive committee choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury has finally passed its decision to David Cameron, amid speculation that the post has been offered to the Eton-educated Bishop of Durham.
Their final decision has been passed to Downing Street which will then ask The Queen to make the appointment.
A source added: “They are absolutely desperate to get it out before General Synod in 10 days' time.”
The Church’s governing body is holding an emergency session in London this month at which it will vote on the most significant piece of legislation it has faced in 20 years – whether to ordain women as bishops.
An announcement, which will be made officially through Downing Street and Lambeth Palace, had been expected in some quarters as early as yesterday.
But with David Cameron overseas and the US election dominating the agenda, it is expected that an announcement may have to wait until Thursday or even into next week. One official in Canterbury added: “The work of the CNC is now done … there is such a tricky process to go through, going through the Prime Minister and all of that.”
Bishop Welby, remained tight-lipped about the prospect last night but friends said he had spoken of wanting to “get back to reality”.
Sources close to Bishop James, who attended the House of Lords yesterday, were also tight lipped but signalled that an official announcement is imminent.
Alex Donohue, of Ladbrokes, said a flurry of betting on Tuesday morning was enough to prompt it to close the book.
“For a market like that it was enough for us to say enough is enough,” he said.
“The market had been dead for a coupe of days … he had been joint favourite with Graham James and then people just completely ignored James and backed Welby.”
Within less than a day the odds offered on Welby moved from 6/4 to evens and then one to two.
William Hill followed shortly suit saying it had seen its own odds slashed.
The bookmaker posted a message on Twitter remarking: "Is nothing sacred?"