Skip to content

In the Press

  • A midwife accused of endangering more than 20 unborn babies by inducing abnormal heartbeats will face a disciplinary hearing next month.
    Kirsteen Stewart was sacked over claims that she needlessly administered small doses of a powerful drug that caused abnormally low heart rates in more than 20 foetuses at the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
    Ms Stewart, 49, will face the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing on December 7, charged with misconduct. The allegations, which cover the period from October 4, 2007, to March 13, 2010, caused alarm among parents whose children were born at the hospital. More than 140 parents contacted a helpline that was set up after the allegations were publicly revealed.
  • Divorce rates in Britain are at their lowest in 40 years, reversing a trend of increased marital breakdown since 1933, but family breakdown is still rising.
    Figures released today from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal there were 114,720 divorces in England and Wales in 2013, a decline of almost 3 per cent on the previous year. This coincides with a recent spike in the number of couples getting married, ending a decades long trend of rising divorce and declining marriage.
    The overall divorce rate fell to 9.8 men or women per 1,000. This represents the lowest rate since 1975 and is a fall of 27 per cent for men and 26 per cent for women compared with 2003.
    Of particular interest is that young couples who marry are less likely to divorce than their parents' generation with figures showing that couples are increasingly likely to outlast what is known as the "seven year itch."
    However the figures reveal an increasing trend of couples living together and having children before marrying. The number of unmarried couples with children has risen by 30 per cent in a decade and has more than doubled since the mid-1990s.
  • An Indian doctor has launched a legal battle after accusing her husband of tricking her into revealing the sex of her unborn girl twins - then pressurising her into aborting them.
    Mitu Khurana, who lives in Jaipur, claims her husband secretly asked doctors to take an ultra-sound of her babies while she was in hospital with a stomach complaint in 2004.
    The 39-year-old paediatrician refused to abort the twins and is now beginning a 'landmark' legal fight at India's high court.

    The case has become high profile in the country with campaigners claiming sex-selective abortions in India have reached 'emergency' levels, according to Olivia Acland, writing in the Sunday Telegraph.
    Her husband Dr Kamal Khurana has strongly denied the claims made against him.
    According to the Daily Telegraph, the allegations are the first of their kind to be brought under a law introduced in the 1990s that bars the gender testing of foetuses.
  • A row has broken out over new powers that will allow the education secretary to take over failing faith schools.
    Senior figures from Church of England and Roman Catholic schools have written to Nicky Morgan to complain that the education bill could result in school buildings and land being taken out of church control, and that the religious character of schools could be eroded.
    However, the British Humanist Association argued that the proposal required the government to take over all schools rated inadequate by Ofsted, whether they were faith-based or not.
  • Most young people who have experienced divorce do not believe parents should stay together for the sake of the children, according to a survey by the family law organisation Resolution.
    The poll found that 82% of those aged 14 to 22 who have endured family breakups would prefer their parents to part if they are unhappy. They said it was ultimately better that their parents had divorced, with one of those surveyed adding that children “will often realise, later on, that it was for the best”.
    Asked what advice they would give divorcing parents, another said: “Don’t stay together for a child’s sake, better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms.”

    The survey, released before the latest annual divorce figures from the Office of National Statistics, show that children want greater involvement in decisions made during the divorce process. More than 60% of those polled felt their parents had not ensured they were part of the decision-making process in their separation or divorce.
    Half of young people indicated they did not have any say as to which parent they would live with or where they would live. An overwhelming majority – 88% – agreed it was important to make sure children do not feel like they have to choose between parents
    Feelings of confusion and guilt are commonplace. About half admitted not understanding what was happening during their parents’ separation or divorce, while 19% agreed that they sometimes felt like it was their fault.
  • The 800-year-old tradition of reading marriage banns should be scrapped by the Church of England, a senior member of the clergy has urged.
    The reading of a couple's names takes place over three Sunday services within three months of their marriage.

    But Reverend Stephen Trott has asked the General Synod to consider replacing the banns with the same process as for a civil ceremony.

    The BBC's Caroline Wyatt says some believe it is an outdated tradition.

    But supporters of keeping the custom argue that it can draw lapsed Christians back to the church, as friends and relatives of the couple attend church to hear the banns read, our correspondent adds.
  • The Church of England has said it is "bewildered" by the refusal of the country's leading cinemas to show a 60 second advert of The Lord's Prayer, adding that the "plain silly" decision could have a "chilling effect" on free speech.
    The Church's response follows its launch of a new website to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age.
    The website creates a place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray.  The site also provides a "live prayer" feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine.
    The Church has produced an advert promoting the new website to be shown in cinemas from December 18 2015 as part of the ad reel before Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
    The 60 second advert features Christians from all walks of life praying one line of the Lord's prayer and includes weight lifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, school children, a mourner at a graveside, a festival goer and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Looking back on it now, they can understand the fuss. Who, after all, would plan a such a peerlessly inappropriate fundraiser? A ‘ladies’ night’ in Llanelli complete with drag queen and near naked waiters in order to send their own mother to Dignitas, the Swiss euthanasia clinic?
    The public was bemused, the police were called and the event duly cancelled.
    ‘We felt quite stupid,’ admits Tara O’Reilly, who organised the party with her sister Rose Baker. ‘We were told we were breaking the law – encouraging suicide. But we weren’t thinking about any of that. We were just desperate.’ And with good reason. Their mother Jackie Baker, diagnosed with motor neurone disease, was declining fast. Months of agonising pain and uncertainty lay before them. Today, though, that terror has completely gone. For all the kerfuffle of the failed party and despite the months of misery that followed, the sisters feel only relief.

    Three weeks ago, in a faceless trading estate on the outskirts of Zurich, their 59-year-old mother clicked a button with her toe and passed away, killed by a powerful cocktail of barbiturates, as she had wished.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted the terror attacks in Paris made him "doubt" the presence of God.
    Justin Welby said he was left asking why the attacks happened, and where God was in the French victims' time of need. He said he reacted with "profound sadness" at the events, particularly because he and his wife had lived in Paris.
    Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God is, he said: "Oh gosh, yes," and admitted it put a "chink in his armour."

    He told BBC Songs Of Praise: "Yes. Saturday morning - I was out and as I was walking I was praying and saying: 'God why - why is this happening? Where are you in all this?' and then engaging and talking to God. Yes, I doubt."
    When asked what his reaction to the attacks was, he said: "Like everyone else - first shock and horror and then a profound sadness - and in my family's case, that is added to because my wife and I lived in Paris for five years.
    "It was one of the happiest places we have lived and to think of a place of such celebration of life seeing such suffering is utterly heart-breaking."
  • A former soldier has labelled a plan to alter an Australian Army's motto to be more tolerant of all religions as 'foolish appeasement' to Islam.
    Bernard Gaynor, who served in the military and is contesting next year's election as a Senate candidate for the right-wing Australian Liberty Alliance, slammed the potential changes on Saturday morning. 
    Army chaplains could have the slogan, 'in this sign conquer' removed from hat bridges as part of a push for greater diversity.
    However, it has been reported by The Daily Telegraph the potential change would be a direct attempt to not offend Muslims.
    The motto is linked with Roman figure Emperor Constantine and the crusades. It is believed Constantine had a vision where he saw the slogan written in the sky prior to the battle of Milviian Bridge in 312AD.


Subscribe to our emails