The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will not become the next Archbishop of Canterbury despite being named as an early favourite for the role.

It was yesterday reported that the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby, an Eton-educated former oil industry executive, will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the 77 million strong Anglican Communion.

Several other senior figures in the Church of England were reported as possible contenders to succeed Dr Rowan Williams, including Dr Sentamu, the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, and the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres.

Earlier this year Dr Sentamu came top of a poll on behalf of Premier Christian Radio as the favourite to take the role.

A spokesman for Dr Sentamu yesterday said he did not want to comment on the decision as he was waiting for the official announcement, expected this morning.