Prince Charles asked to give evidence at sex abuse inquiry into paedophile bishop Peter Ball

Prince Charles has been asked to evidence at a child abuse inquiry into a paedophile bishop who was jailed for abusing young men.

Peter Ball, 85, the former bishop of Gloucester and Lewes, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015. He was convicted for offences against teenagers and young men and also misconduct in public office.

Prince Charles is next in line to the throne. He has a country house in Highgrove, in the diocese of Gloucester, so it is not thought unusual he corresponded with the disgraced bishop.Reuters

Private letters between the Prince of Wales Ball were handed to the independent inquiry into child sex abuse which is examining how the Church of England handled allegations of abuse.

A spokesman for the prince told the Daily Mail last year the letters contained nothing of relevance to Ball's offences.

But Fiona Scolding QC, lead counsel to the child sex abuse inquiry, said witness statements had been requested from Prince Charles and his private secretary.

Bishop Ball was sentenced to 32 months in prison in 2015. He was released in February 2017 after serving 16 months.

'We have also requested a witness statement from both His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and his principal private secretary,' she said according to a transcript on the inquiry's website. 'The Prince's solicitors have indicated their client's willingness to assist us and have raised a number of important issues for us to consider.

'This has led to lengthy and complex discussions and we are currently considering the latest points they have raised. We hope to be able to provide an update to core participants on this in the next couple of weeks.'