Updated again 29 February
The Mail on Sunday reported: Revealed: The emails dripping in poison that dons at Oxford’s most prestigious college tried to cover up – including one which read, ‘Think of the Morse episode we could make when his wrinkly body is found!’
And: The alma mater of 13 Prime Ministers, Christ Church is Oxford’s grandest college… but now a toxic feud among its dons is set to spill out in court – threatening what one distinguished alumnus calls ‘a horror movie’
There are later reports (£) in the Telegraph: Oxford College dons in ‘poison’ email row over attempt to oust Christ Church Dean who was labelled ‘little Hitler’
and in The Times: Oxford dons and dean of Christ Church in feud over email slurs
Christ Church has issued this statement: Christ Church statement in response to media interest 14 Feb 2020
In response to recent media interest, we can confirm that we are in receipt of two Employment Tribunal claims from the Dean of Christ Church. We are all too conscious that a disagreement over pay and remuneration with the Dean has led, over the last two years, to significantly-heightened tensions between him and Governing Body. Personal relationships have undoubtedly suffered, and we all regret this deeply. We take our responsibilities towards all members of our community very seriously, and believe that we have acted in the best interests of Christ Church, including its students and staff.
While the specific matters being raised by the Dean should be left to the Employment Tribunal to consider, the Governing Body remains committed to achieving a satisfactory resolution. Christ Church expects members to show respect towards one another at all times, but equally we acknowledge that individuals are entitled to their personal opinions. Frustrations conveyed about – but not to – the Dean, exacerbated by the dispute over his pay, were in the past expressed in some private emails. However, mediation with the Dean, funded by Christ Church, resumed in November 2019 and is now ongoing. We very much hope that we can find a way forward through this process, and avoid considerable further cost.
The Diocese of Oxford has issued this: The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy
Sunday 16 February: following media reports this weekend the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, has issued this statement:
“Martyn is a close and valued colleague, widely respected across the Diocese of Oxford and the wider Church. What happens next is for the employment tribunal to determine, but it is never too late to begin a process of reconciliation. This will require acknowledgement of responsibility, and also transparency on all sides. Recent events, while painful, are but a moment in the lifetime of this historic and unique dual foundation which contributes so much to the University and to the Diocese of Oxford. My thoughts and prayers are with all involved.”