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The disgraced former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken told a student audience yesterday that he

Posted on 19 October 2010

The disgraced former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken told a student audience yesterday that he favoured piety over pornography during his time in prison. But the former Tory chief secretary to the Treasury said he told the prisoner: “I used to like them, I am now following a different path, a path of having faith, a path of following the teachings of Jesus.”Mr Aitken, 59, who is studying Theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, spoke of his prison experiences while delivering the annual Chaplaincy Lecture at Oxford Brookes University. He admitted that he had felt “utterly helpless and utterly vulnerable” at night when he was being threatened by cellmates. He said he tried to calm his nerves by quietly reciting the psalms.Mr Aitken, who was jailed in 1999 after the collapse of his libel action against The Guardian and Granada Television, told his audience: “I suffered badly in terms of committing the sin of pride.”It’s very easy to allow pride to disrupt all your values and judgements.

Pride gets in the way of the Christian journey from a self-centred life to a God-centred life.”. Artists are challenging the suits for the soul of the Royal Academy, the distinguished home of the Summer Exhibition in Piccadilly where crowds queue through the night for a view of important shows. Exhibitions such as the blockbuster Monet or the survey of Paris from 1900 to 1968 are world-class shows requiring substantial sponsorship support. The Academy is also about to embark on a £50m project to take over the nearby Museum of Mankind building to acquire more space for exhibitions and education programmes and better facilities.David Gordon said some Academicians were worried at the scale of the operation and alarmed at the sums of money required to fund it. The organisation, which has a staff of 200, receives no government funding. “It is true that there is a current among some of the Academicians who don’t quite understand why the institution has become as big and complicated as it has,” he said. “Perhaps the staff haven’t done as good a job as we should have done of explaining how we now operate.”I think some of the artists who have known the Academy a long time would like to go back to a time when we did less and were a less risky operation.”But there isn’t another game We have the finest exhibition galleries in Europe.

What do you do with exhibition galleries? You put on exhibitions.”But the scale of the expectations on the Academy set by the public is very high. We’re in competition with world-class institutions like the Tate.”. The boxing trainer George Francis, who guided Frank Bruno and John Conteh to world titles, hanged himself at home after three family tragedies, an inquest was told yesterday. In 1999 his wife, Joan, died of cancer; two years later, so did his son, Simon. This year, his son-in-law was killed in a car crash in South Africa.Francis was found dead at his home in Hillway, Highgate, on 4 April this year by a neighbour who had been alerted by Francis’s girlfriend, Marie Gallagher.Ms Gallagher told St Pancras Coroner’s Court she had visited Francis at about 1pm because she was worried that he had not responded to her phone calls “I saw a chair positioned at the bottom of the stairs. There was a note on it reading ‘Please don’t come upstairs, George’,” she said.Francis had left two other notes stating his intention to take his own life The coroner, Sean McGovern, recorded a verdict of suicide.. One of Northern Ireland’s most feared loyalist paramilitaries was found dead yesterday in an apparent suicide.

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