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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Australian Royal Rep Set to Quit

SYDNEY, Australia -- The British queen's representative in Australia on Sunday offered to resign as nominal head of state following rape accusations and separate allegations that he did not act against child-abusing clergy when he was an Anglican Church archbishop in the 1990s.

Governor General Peter Hollingworth, who temporarily stepped aside earlier this month, denied wrongdoing, but said the scandals compelled him to quit. No other holder of the century-old vice regal office has ever been forced to leave in such circumstances.

"Despite the misplaced and unwarranted allegations made against me ... it is clear that continuing public controversy has the potential to undermine and diminish my capacity to uphold the importance, dignity and integrity of this high office," Hollingworth said.

Hollingworth, 68, has been under intense pressure to quit because of unproven accusations that he raped a woman 40 years ago. An Anglican Church inquiry also found that while he was archbishop of Brisbane a decade ago, he had allowed a known pedophile to continue working as a priest. He has admitted "errors in judgment" from the priest scandal.

Hollingworth said he had asked Prime Minister John Howard "to put the necessary arrangements in place to advise Her Majesty, the Queen. I proposed to make a more detailed statement to the Australian people later this week."

It was not immediately clear when Howard would contact the queen.