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Air over the CNC meeting remains smokeless

05 October 2012

By a staff reporter

NO further information is being released about the deliberations of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) after it failed to agree two names to submit to the Prime Minister at its meeting last week.

The dates of the Commission's three earlier meetings were released by the C of E's communications department. On Wednesday, however, it was giving no details of when the Commission might be meeting again.

All meetings of the CNC are confidential. The news that its 16 voting members had been unable to agree could be inferred from a phrase in a short press statement issued last Friday evening: "the work of the Commission continues."

The full statement read: "This week's meeting of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) has been accompanied by much speculation about possible candidates and the likely timing of an announcement of the name of who will succeed Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury when he steps down to become Master of Magdalene College.

"The CNC is an elected, prayerful body. Its meetings are necessarily confidential to enable members to fulfil their important responsibilities for discerning who should undertake this major national and international role. Previous official briefings have indicated that an announcement is expected during the autumn and that remains the case; the work of the Commission continues.

"There will be no comment on any speculation about candidates or about the CNC's deliberations. Dr Williams remains in office until the end of December."

The rules for the CNC state that a successful candidate must secure a majority of two-thirds when the CNC votes, i.e. at least 11 votes. The CNC selects two candidates in this way, and chooses in which order to present them to the Prime Minister for the Queen's approval. The convention is now that the Prime Minister automatically chooses the first name.

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