Nobel Prize for Literature postponed after sex abuse allegations

The Nobel Prize for Literature will be not awarded this year following sex abuse allegations at the Swedish Academy, organisers have announced.

The Nobel Foundation said that the "crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize".

Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement posted on Twitter: "The Swedish Academy has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, with the intention of awarding it in 2019."

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He added: "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize. Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize. None of this impacts the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in other prize categories.

"The Nobel Foundation presumes that the Swedish Academy will now put all its efforts into the task of restoring its credibility as a prize-awarding institution and that the Academy will report the concrete actions that are undertaken.

"We also assume that all members of the Academy realise that both its extensive reform efforts and its future organisational structure must be characterised by greater openness towards the outside world."

It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out.

The interim permanent secretary of the Academy, Anders Olsson, said in a statement: "We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced. This is out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public."

The decision was reached at a meeting in Stockholm with the 2018 prize to be given in 2019.