Williams tries to defuse row over sharia law but refuses to apologise

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sought to defuse the bitter row over what he appeared to claim was the unavoidable adoption of sharia law in the UK by conceding that his controversial comments may have been unclear and ” clumsily deployed”. Whilst taking full responsibility for his part in the highly damaging episode, which resulted in calls for him to resign and sparked a disagreement with Downing Street, Dr Rowan Williams fell short of offering a full-blown apology and refused to back down. Instead he insisted that the Church of England had a “considerable” responsibility to other faith groups and asserted that it was not “inappropriate” to raise issues surrounding Islam or other religions – comments that were immediately welcomed by Muslim leaders.