Updated again Wednesday evening
The Liverpool Daily Post has Bishop was branded ‘a liar who dislikes Liverpool’
and also Tribunal judgment accepted – but claims against Bishop ‘completely rejected’.
Another version of the first of these articles is here.
Mr Johnston also worked as a priest in the Manchester diocese, so the story has been picked up by the Bolton News in Sacked Horwich vicar’s job appeal victory.
And Bishop Jones formerly worked in Yorkshire, so the story has been covered in the Yorkshire Post where the headline is Former Hull bishop branded ‘liar and hypocrite’.
The diocesan statement quoted in the paper is:
“It appears that our processes were in some way deficient, and we are looking into this as a matter of urgency.
“That said, we now want to put this matter behind us and concentrate on the important work of the Diocesan Board of Finance and support our clergy and congregations in their work pursuing the mission of God in the Diocese of Liverpool.
“Allegations made against the Bishop of Liverpool at the employment tribunal have been made by a former employee of the Diocesan Board of Finance. They did not form the basis on which the judgment was awarded.
“The Diocese rejects these allegations completely.
“As far as the Diocese is concerned, any close examination of the Bishop’s work over the last 10 years shows an outstanding level of commitment. Bishop James was, is and will continue to be a key voice in and excellent ambassador for the City and Diocese of Liverpool.”
The Liverpool Echo has two more articles:
Wednesday’s Guardian had this in the People column:
For a man of God, the Rt Rev James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, seems to be spending a lot of time conceding that institutions he heads have treated employees badly. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one employment tribunal may be accounted a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness. Earlier this year Wycliffe Hall, the Oxford theological college whose governing council he chairs which under the new principal he appointed, conservative evangelical Richard Turnbull, has lost 11 of its 13 academic staff in a year admitted it acted unlawfully in sacking theologian Elaine Storkey, a fellow Radio 4 Thought for the Day presenter, for no good cause.
Now, it has taken another tribunal just 15 minutes to decide the way he cast off his Liverpool diocesan press officer, David Johnston, after false rumours about the break-up of his marriage also amounted to unfair dismissal. The bishop, who regards himself as something of a media operator, was said by Johnston to be a liar who did not like Liverpool – a clear calumny according to a diocesan statement. Johnston says there was “no grace or mercy; no humanity” in the bishop’s dealings with him. Jones joins Hereford’s Bishop Anthony Priddis in defeat: Priddis also lost a tribunal this year after refusing to employ a youth worker on the grounds he might one day enter a gay relationship. They’re costing the church a lot of money.