York's nationally-famous bell ringer, David Potter, is under police investigation over an allegation of indecent assault.

Mr Potter, who was awarded an MBE for his services to bell-ringing in the city in the New Year's Eve Honours List, is currently suspended from his position as ringing master at York Minster and from his post as a junior school teacher.

He has been bailed by police following his arrest on December 23 after an allegation of indecent assault was made against him by a young person who is not connected with the school.

Jayne Eggleton, human resources manager for the City of York Council's education department, said: "I was alerted by police that there had been an allegation from a young person of inappropriate behaviour by Mr Potter outside of school.

"I alerted the school, the head and the governors and they decided that they would suspend the teacher from duty pending the investigation by police.

"This was due to the nature of his work with young people at the school, although the allegations were nothing to do with anything that happened in school."

Michael Ashmore, head teacher at Upper Poppleton Junior School, declined to comment.

It is understood that the Minster suspension is also because of the nature of the allegations and that other churches have taken similar action. Mr Potter is still involved in bell-ringing in the city.

Tony Lidgate, spokesman for North Yorkshire Police, said: "A York man was arrested on December 23 in connection with an alleged indecent assault and is on police bail."

Mr Potter was awarded an MBE in recognition of 30 years of work in bellringing, mostly in York.

He has taught pupils who now ring in towers across the country.

Since moving to York 25 years ago, he has worked hard to revive bell-ringing traditions in York and on restoring or replacing bells in various York churches. He was a major figure in organising Ring In 2000 in the city, the simultaneous ringing of bells in towers all over Britain at noon on New Year's Day.

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