Justine Welby (pictured) has insisted he was 'completely unaware' of allegations that his friend inflicted brutal sexualised beatings on boys
The Archbishop of Canterbury last night insisted he was 'completely unaware' of allegations that his friend from late 1970s Christian summer camps inflicted brutal sexualised beatings on boys he groomed there.
Justin Welby was a young 'dormitory officer' at the 'Bash' events, helping to look after the religiously-minded teenage boys from public schools and young men in their early 20s invited to them.
As a result, when in his late teens and early 20s himself, the future archbishop became friendly with high-flying barrister John Smyth, then nearly 40, who ran the camps on behalf of the religious charity he chaired, The Iwerne Trust.
Mr Welby said he knew nothing about any allegations against Mr Smyth when he worked at the camp.
He told LBC radio: 'I was at that particular camp in the mid-70s. I was young then, I was 19 to 22, and I was certainly never aware of any abuse... I didn't have the slightest suspicion that there was anything going on.'
Describing Mr Smyth as a 'charming, delightful, very clever' man, the Archbishop added: 'I wasn't a close friend of