Jonathan Wynne Jones and John Bingham report in the Telegraph:
Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, has accepted the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
Sources have confirmed that the Eton-educated bishop will be announced as successor to Dr Rowan Williams as early as Friday, after the Crown Nominations Commission put his name forward to Downing Street.
It marks a meteoric rise for the former oil executive who has been a bishop for less than a year, but insiders described Welby as "the outstanding candidate".
Last night a spokesman refused to confirm his appointment. But it came a few hours after he pulled out at short notice from a planned appearance on the BBC Radio 4 discussion programme Any Questions due to take place in County Durham on Friday.
He also cut short a retreat with diocesan staff returned to the capital where it is understood his wife is travelling down to join him tomorrow.