Gavin Drake

Journalist

Toby Young’s reserved un-reserved apology is to be welcomed

Toby Young’s decision to resign as a non-executive director of the embryonic quango Office for Students is to be welcomed. As is his “unreserved apology” for his past comments that made his appointment untenable. Even though his unreserved apology is somewhat reserved. His statement suggests…

Violence against women is a sin

Yesterday, during an interview with Ed Stourton on BBC Radio Four’s Sunday programme, I mentioned a video produced by church leaders in Fiji (listen here, from 12’22”). The ecumenical campaign saw Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Salvation Army, Methodist, evangelical and other church leaders deliver a…

It is time to end the secrecy and infallibility of the Parole Board

The Parole Board has come in for a lot of attention in the past few days, after its decision to release serial predatory rapist John Worboys was announced on Thursday afternoon. But despite this attention, its work is shrouded in secrecy. Unlike any other aspect…

How many times can a man get away with killing his wife and girlfriends?

In 1981 Theodore Johnson killed his wife, Yvonne by hitting her over the head with a vase before pushing her off the balcony of their flat in Wolverhampton. He claimed manslaughter by provocation, saying that his wife wouldn’t let him go to church because he…

Just how dangerous is “Black Cab Rapist” John Worboys?

The Parole Board have decided that John Worboys can be released from his indeterminate sentence. He was convicted at Croydon Crown Court on 13 March 2009 of one count of rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges, committed between July 2007…

At last, my annus horribilis is coming to an end

I make no claim to be a prophet, but this time last year I made a prediction that, within days, was to become chillingly true. On Facebook and Twitter, I wrote: “2017: If you thought 2016 was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” This was…

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”?

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”? The chances are that you have: the story that the Revd Steve Bailey, team rector-designate of St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire, has banned the Victorian hymn from this year’s Remembrance Sunday service has…

If Theresa May really wants to tackle abuse in Westminster, Michael Gove will be sacked today

I don’t like calling for people to be sacked. It isn’t nice when people lose their jobs; and in any normal walk of life due process and fair practice should be followed. But cabinet ministers are not in normal jobs. Their “job” is that of…

My reflections at Jill Saward’s memorial service

Yesterday lunchtime, I cast my wife’s ashes into the sea off Nefyn Beach on the Llyn peninsula, as she had asked me to do. Earlier, a memorial service was held at the town’s Eglwys Dewi Sant (Saint David’s Church). This is what I said during…

Follow me on Twitter

© Gavin Drake 2017