Bishop suspended over 'offensive' royal comments

A Church of England bishop who made "deeply offensive" comments about the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton was suspended from public ministry today.

The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, said he had asked the Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, to withdraw from public ministry until further notice.

He said he was "appalled" by comments about the marriage posted on Facebook by Bishop Broadbent.

Bishop Broadbent reportedly said Prince William and Miss Middleton's marriage may last only seven years and was said to have referred to the Royal Family as philanderers.

The Bishop of London said in a statement: "I was appalled by the Bishop of Willesden's comments about the forthcoming royal marriage.

"In common with most of the country, I share the joy which the news of the engagement has brought.

"I have now had an opportunity to discuss with Bishop Peter how his comments came to be made and I have noted his unreserved apology.

"Nevertheless, I have asked him to withdraw from public ministry until further notice.

"I have been in touch with St James's Palace to express my own dismay on behalf of the Church."