By politics.co.uk staff
Former shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe could be appointed Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, according to a report.
Ms Widdecombe stepped down as an MP at the general election. She could find herself dispatched to Rome later this year as her concerns about the decline of religion in society win her the role.
"I believe there's a malaise in society in general that doesn't understand and doesn't want to understand Christianity," she was quoted as saying during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme.
"I think everywhere you look, we are now blurring the distinction between maintaining equality - which I agree with entirely - and respecting Christian conscience."
Ms Widdecombe could be appointed to the post after the current holder, Francis Campbell, steps down following the Pope's first official visit to Britain this autumn.
"There is nothing imminent to be announced," she told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
It reported foreign secretary William Hague, who handed Ms Widdecombe the home affairs portfolio under his ill-fated leadership of the Conservative party, has approved her nomination.
It must be approved by the Vatican before an official announcement is made later this summer.