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Prince Charles to give evidence at child sexual abuse inquiry

12:47 pm, 19th July 2018

Prince Charles will provide a written statement to be read next Thursday at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is looking into the handling of allegations made against disgraced ex-bishop Peter Ball.

The former bishop of Gloucester – whose diocese covers the prince’s country home of Highgrove – was sentenced to 32 months in 2015 for sexually abusing young men in the 1970s.

Ball and Charles had exchanged a series of letters during his time as bishop, and in June the counsel to the inquiry said witness statements had been requested from the prince and his principal private secretary.

In a statement released after the request was made, a spokesman for Prince Charles said: “Whilst the prince has made it clear that he was unaware of the extent of Mr Ball’s behaviour, he has indicated that he is more than willing to provide context on his contact with Mr Ball, as his former local bishop, if that would help the inquiry.”

The spokesman had previously said the correspondence between Charles and the clergyman contained nothing of relevance to his offending.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the inquiry – which was set up in 2014 – had been fined £200,000 after a bulk email was sent that could have identified dozens of victims of abuse.

Some of the 52 emails on the list contained people’s full names, leaving at least one complainant “very distressed”.

The inquiry was launched to look at the extent to which institutions failed to protect children from sexual abuse.