An Anglican clergyman who advised the Church of England on how to handle sham marriages has been jailed for two and a half years for conducting dozens of the illegal ceremonies himself.

The Revd Canon Dr John Magumba married a stream of Nigerian men to EU citizens giving them a “golden ticket” to stay in Britain, a court heard.

At one point he was conducting so many weddings involving foreigners that he was put him in charge of a committee of diocesan working party on how to handle the issue – including how to spot sham relationships, Bolton Crown Court heard.

He “asked no questions” despite a dramatic surge in African men choosing his churches in Greater Manchester to marry Polish, Slovak or Czech women.

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