British cardinal quits after 'inappropriate acts' claims

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned with immediate effect in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behaviour. 

O'Brien had announced in November that he was planning to resign in view of his 75th birthday next month. 

The cardinal had denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour by three priests and a former priest which were sent to Rome a week before Pope Benedict XVI's shock resignation announcement on the 11th of February. 

O'Brien had been due to be Britain's only cardinal to vote on a replacement for Benedict. 

But he confirmed in his resignation statement that he would not be taking part in the conclave. 

The allegations, dating from the 1980s, include claims that one priest received unwanted attention from the cardinal after a late-night drinking session. 

Another priest said that O'Brien used night prayers as cover for inappropriate contact.