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Archbishop guest edits magazine

The Archbishop of Canterbury will guest edit this week's issue of the New Statesman.

Dr Rowan Williams has commissioned a wide range of essays, articles and reports, as well as interviewing Iain Duncan Smith and writing the leading article for the left-leaning current affairs magazine.

Among the other writers for the special issue are director Richard Curtis, author Philip Pullman and literary professor Terry Eagleton.

Dr Williams said he hoped his influence on the publication would help "to spark some livelier debate".

He said: "This is not a platform for the establishment to explain itself - any more than the New Statesman ever is.

"The hope is that it may be possible to spark some livelier debate about where we are going, perhaps even to discover what the left's big idea currently is."

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley said he had long admired Dr Williams "as a thinker and public intellectual" and described his previous articles as "both thoughtful and thought-provoking".

He added: "Although the New Statesman is a secular magazine, we recognise Dr Williams's contribution to public and political debate, and this is an important intervention from him. I'm delighted with the issue."

Dr Williams will be the magazine's fifth guest editor, following ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and socialite Jemima Khan.

The latest issue will go on sale in London on Thursday and the rest of the country on Friday.

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