Ex-chairman of VIP paedophile inquiry claims establishment ‘covered up child sex abuse’


Ex-chairman of VIP paedophile inquiry claims establishment ‘covered up child sex abuse’

The retired judge was appointed in July by Home Secretary Theresa May to lead the investigation into child abuse claims at institutions across the country, and how allegations were dealt with by authorities.

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss stood down less than a week after her appointment amid claims of a conflict of interest, as her brother, Sir Michael Havers, was Attorney-General during the 1980s  when some of the alleged abuse occurred.

This morning, the 81-year-old said she took on the role as she felt it was her ‘duty’.

She said: “I do believe the establishment has in the past looked after itself, partly because people did not really recognise the seriousness of child abuse and they did not think it was so important, and it was important to protect members of the establishment.

“So I would want to go in with a knife and cut the whole thing open and expose it, as to what happened, bearing in mind, of course, that the views of those people are not the views of people today and that is a difficulty.

“But I don’t believe I was unsuitable to do it because, in principle, as a judge with 35 years’ experience on the bench, I was quite able to be independent and say that people got it wrong and to be critical of them.”

Lady Butler-Sloss said she did not regret taking the role as chairwoman, adding: “I thought it was my duty. I didn’t want to do the job but it was one that needed to be done, I thought I had the qualifications.

“It never crossed my mind that my brother would be an impediment.”

She added that it appeared to be “an attack on my integrity” to suggest she could not be impartial.

She continued: “As a judge, I would expect to be totally impartial, even with my own family.”

“[But] we live in a world of perceptions … nobody looks at the reality, they look at how they feel about things”.

The inquiry into child abuse has been plagued by difficulties since it was announced by the Government earlier this year.

Fiona Woolf, the-then Lord Mayor of London, was appointed as Lady Butler-Sloss’ replacement as chairman of the inquiry in September.

But she too was forced to step down after it was revealed she lived in the same street as former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, who is likely to be called to give evidence to the inquiry

The now Lord Brittan received a dossier from MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983 documenting the alleged involvement of VIP figures in a child sex ring, which has subsequently gone missing.

Lady Butler-Sloss also defended the awarding of a Damehood to Ms Woolf in the New Year Honours list.

She said: “She was Lord Mayor of London, she is only the second woman ever to be Lord Mayor of London.

“The very least that the honours system could do would be to honour a woman who has got such a distinguished post.

“Unfortunately she had, like myself, a brief period where she had agreed – for goodness sake, she had agreed to do a very disagreeable job to become chairman.

“And because she happened to know Leon Brittan, she was unacceptable to the survivors and therefore she stood down.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/549572/Ex-chairman-VIP-paedophile-inquiry-claims-establishment-covered-child-sex-abuse

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