Former Archbishop of York investigated over child sex abuse failings

Rt Rev David Hope as Archbishop of York.

The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope, may be prosecuted for failing to tell the authorities about allegations that a cathedral dean was a child abuser.

He may be charged with misconduct in a public office, according to The Times, the same charge that saw the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, imprisoned after he admitted sexual offences.

Hope was criticised in a judge-led inquiry in 2014 over his handling of the case of Robert Waddington, former Dean of Manchester, who abused choirboys and schoolboys for more than half a century. It said Hope's failure to report concerns had put children at risk and meant opportunities to prosecute Waddington before he died in 2007 were missed.

According to The Times, the North Yorkshire police force has been investigating the case for several months and has consulted the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed.

Hope served as Archbishop of York from 1995 to 2005. He was notified of allegations about Waddington in 1999, 2003 and 2004. On the last occasion he stripped Waddington of his permission to officiate at church services but did not report him to police.

Judge Sally Cahill's 2014 report found that Hope was guilty of "cumulative" failings. Hope subsequently resigned his ministry and said it was "a matter of great regret" that he had not been more active in seeking out complainants.