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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Lawyer quits following Pope joke
Donald Findlay QC
Mr Findlay was speaking at a Rangers FC supporters' club dinner
High-profile lawyer Donald Findlay has resigned from a prestigious legal position following a row over a joke he made about the death of the Pope.

The QC stepped down as chairman of Faculty Services Limited, a private company that looks after the business affairs of advocates.

His decision has been confirmed by a spokesman for the Faculty of Advocates, which declined to comment further.

Mr Findlay faced calls to quit after making the crack at a dinner.

A spokesman for the Faculty of Advocates said: "We can confirm that Mr Donald Findlay QC has resigned as chairman of Faculty Services Ltd.

"The faculty does not intend to make any further comment on this matter."

'Very smoky'

The position, with responsibilities for the professional body's business operations, is regarded as one of the country's leading legal appointments.

The QC was a guest speaker at a 22-a-head dinner attended by 140 Rangers fans and former players, including Andy Goram, in Northern Ireland last month.

During his speech Mr Findlay was reported to have said: "It's very smoky in here. Has another f****** Pope died?"

The latest controversy comes six years after the leading defence counsel was filmed singing sectarian lyrics at a private party in the Rangers' Social Club next to Ibrox Stadium.

Mr Findlay was fined 3,500 for professional misconduct by the faculty following the incident and issued an "unreserved apology".

His singing of The Sash was described by the professional body as "of a nature offensive to the Roman Catholic Church and community in Scotland".

The row led to Mr Findlay resigning as vice-chairman of Rangers FC and standing down as rector of St Andrews University.

Mr Findlay declined to make any comment on his resignation.

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