A crossbench peer and former Conservative minister has been appointed head of the commission to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
Lord Luce will chair the Crown Nominations Commission, charged with finding a successor to Rowan Williams who is stepping down after a decade as the Church of England's most senior cleric.
The peer's appointment, by David Cameron, was announced by Downing Street today. The nominations commission will put its recommendation to the Prime Minister who will then seek the Queen's approval. An announcement is expected in the autumn.
Dr Williams revealed last month that he would be leaving his post at the end of December in time to start a new role as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January.
Lord Luce, 75, was a Tory MP for 21 years and served in Margaret Thatcher's government, including as minister of state at the Foreign Office until he resigned over the 1982 Falklands invasion.
He also spent six years as Lord Chamberlain to the Queen until 2006. He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2000 and sits as a crossbencher.
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