Former Archbishop of York accused of abuse cover-up
The former Archbishop of York, otherwise known as David Hope or Lord Hope of Thornes, has been accused of covering up allegations that a Church of England clergyman had abused pupils.
The accusations of abuse were made in 1999 and 2003 against the former Dean of Manchester, Robert Waddington and it is believed that Lord Hope, who was Archbishop of York at the time, was made aware of said accusations.
Despite this, the Archbishop did not report concerns to the police at any time. Hope did, however, revoke Waddington’s right to conduct church services and ordered internal investigations.
The initial incident in 1999 concerned accusations of inappropriate behaviour with a school pupil in Australia whilst the second accusation, in 2003, referred to a choirboy at Manchester Cathedral.
Mr Waddington, who died of throat cancer in 2007, denied the allegations.
Lord Hope has denied any attempts to cover-up the incidents and stated that he had acted in line with the Church’s child protection policy at the time. However he did add that “with hindsight, probably there ought to have been [a report]”.
Under the Church of England’s 1999 Policy on Child Protection, paragraph 31 states: “There is no automatic legal obligation on the Church to refer allegations by adults to the police or social services. However it is essential to consider whether children may still be at risk from the abuser or alleged abuser and, if so, to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to safeguard them, and these will involve reporting the matter to the social services or the police.”
Although this policy was in effect at the time, it has subsequently been reviewed.
Greater Manchester Police were only made aware of the allegations when another choirboy, Eli Ward, aged 40, reported being groomed and abused by Waddington in the 1980s.