There WAS an Establishment cover-up of child abuse as the powerful looked after themselves, says former inquiry chief
There was an Establishment cover-up of horrific child abuse because powerful figures looked after themselves, former judge Lady Butler-Sloss warned today.
Senior members of British society in the past did not think child abuse was as serious or important as protecting politicians and other members of the elite, she suggested.
Lady Butler-Sloss was forced to quit as chairman of the wide-ranging inquiry into allegations of a cover-up because her brother was in the Cabinet in the 1980s.
But she insisted if she had stayed in post and been able to run the inquiry she would have ‘cut the whole thing open’.
Lady Butler-Sloss’s resignation in July came less than a week after David Cameron agreed to an inquiry into allegations that politicians, the police, the judiciary, celebrities, the BBC, the NHS and the Church conspired to cover-up abuse over several decades.
It followed concerns that her brother Michael Havers sat in the Cabinet as attorney general during the 1980s – the period on which claims of a cover-up are focussed.
Lady Butler Sloss insisted she could have done the job, arguing that ‘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’.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, which she guest edited today, she said abuse over decades was kept from public view.
‘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,’ she said.
‘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.’
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