Despite previously damning reports about Mr Iscariot’s character, new evidence discovered by archaeologists seemingly absolves him of the betrayal of Christ, despite contrasting claims made in The Bible. This new evidence comes in the form of a diary written by one of Mr Iscariot’s associates, Clive of Nazareth, which not only presents an alternative depiction of Judas’s character, but also provides Mr Iscariot with an alibi for the night of Mr Christ’s arrest as, according to the journal, went out for falafel that night with Clive.

According to this new evidence, Mr Iscariot was in fact a ‘top bloke’ and ‘treasured the friendship of Jesus’. One of the few intact extracts from the journal that have been translated reads: ‘Me and Judas go way back, really nice bloke. Loves kids and couldn’t do enough for his mother, he even gives money to lepers. That Jesus bloke gets a lot of credit but Judas is the real hero.’

A Vatican insider has commented that: ‘This changes everything, we’re having to rethink a great many things. Pope Francis is contemplating an official posthumous pardon for Mr Iscariot as he has wrongly been viewed as the axis of all evil and the face of betrayal for roughly two thousand years.’

Mr Iscariot’s estate are pursuing legal action against the libellous claims made in The Bible against Judas Iscariot.