Vicar ready for prison over Blake

A Church of England priest last night said he was ready to go to prison over his role in the prison escape of double agent George Blake. The Rev John Papworth's defiant stand came as police prepared to probe his role in Blake's flight to freedom more than 30 years ago.

Mr Papworth, 75, of St John's Wood, north London, hit the headlines on Friday with his description of shoplifting as "a badly needed reallocation of economic resources".

Yesterday he confirmed he had housed Blake for two or three days in Earls Court, west London, after the spy's escape from prison in October 1966. He said if police came to interview him about it: "I will give them a cup of tea and help them as much as I can."