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Wirral vicar suspended in probe into child porn images

St Luke's, Poulton, Wallasey
Image caption Parishioners were told on Sunday of his suspension

A vicar from Merseyside has been suspended after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, it has emerged.

Merseyside Police arrested Reverend Ian Hughes, 45, priest-in-charge of parishes in Poulton and Seacombe, in Wirral on 22 May.

A Church of England Diocese of Chester spokesman said on discovery of his arrest he was suspended immediately.

Police said he has been bailed pending further police inquiries.

A spokesman for the Church of England Diocese of Chester said parishioners were informed of his suspension during normal service on Sunday.

The spokesman said: "The Bishop of Chester suspended the priest-in-charge of the parishes in Poulton and Seacombe - Ian Hughes - immediately when we knew of his arrest.

"Full co-operation is now taking place with the police and the authorities.

"We await outcomes from the current investigation and the workings of the justice system.

"The Church of England takes such matters very seriously. In the meantime, a senior priest has agreed to provide ministry and pastoral support for parishioners."

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