Following the findings of the Smith inquiry and in a grudging statement from Christ Church, the Dean’s suspension was lifted on 27 August 2019. However, he has never been allowed to return to full duties because of amorphous rulings about his supposed conflicts of interest.
In March 2020 – and without any prior notice to him – Christ Church announced that a number of safeguarding cases handled by the Dean were causing concern and had been passed to the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team (NST). In early September 2020, the Church of England announced that there was no substance to the allegations and the Dean was, once again, fully exonerated.
The Dean has launched an Employment Tribunal case. A preliminary hearing in October 2020 reached procedural findings favourable to the Dean.
Despite having spent millions of pounds of charitable funds on their own lawyers, Christ Church has so far declined to pay the Dean’s legal costs. This was a decision described by Senior ex-Censor David Hine – a specialist in public ethics – as “not very moral, but legal”.