British government’s child abuse inquirer resigns


This video from Britain says about itself:

Former Home Secretary faces new questions over paedophiles in Westminster in the [19]80s

2 July 2014

One of the most senior ministers in Margaret Thatcher’s government has admitted that he was given a dossier, which contained allegations about a paedophile ring in Westminster in the 1980s.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Child abuse inquiry: Theresa May under fire over Lady Butler-Sloss

Home secretary accused of failing to do her homework after resignation of woman appointed to chair child-abuse inquiry

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent

Monday 14 July 2014 14.43 BST

Theresa May has come under fire from MPs on both sides of the House of Commons after Lady Butler-Sloss announced that she would resign as chair of the child-abuse panel after admitting that she had failed to take into account a family conflict of interest.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, criticised May for placing Butler-Sloss in an unfair position after “the last-minute nature” of her decision to appoint the panel last week.

The Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith echoed Cooper’s criticisms as he said the home secretary had taken too long to set up the panel and then appointed Butler-Sloss too quickly.

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee who raised concerns about Butler-Sloss’s appointment last week, said the inquiry was becoming “shambolic”.

The MPs spoke out after Butler-Sloss resigned after admitting that she had failed to take into account the fact that her brother, the late Sir Michael Havers, served as attorney general in the 1980s when reports of child abuse were allegedly not examined properly.

Butler-Sloss said she had been honoured to be invited to chair the inquiry. But she added: “It has become apparent over the last few days, however, that there is a widespread perception, particularly among victim and survivor groups, that I am not the right person to chair the inquiry. It has also become clear to me that I did not sufficiently consider whether my background and the fact my brother had been attorney general would cause difficulties.”

Hours before her announcement, the former solicitor general Vera Baird had called on Butler-Sloss to stand down because her brother was attorney general between 1979 and 1987 – the period due be examined by the panel.

Butler-Sloss informed May of her decision over the weekend. May, who appointed Butler-Sloss last week, had strongly defended her as the criticism mounted.

Butler-Sloss added in her statement: “This is a victim-orientated inquiry and those who wish to be heard must have confidence that the members of the panel will pay proper regard to their concerns and give appropriate advice to government.

“Nor should media attention be allowed to be diverted from the extremely important issues at stake, namely whether enough has been done to protect children from sexual abuse and hold to account those who commit these appalling crimes.

“Having listened to the concerns of victim and survivor groups and the criticisms of MPs and the media, I have come to the conclusion that I should not chair this inquiry and have so informed the home secretary.

Butler-Sloss’s decision to stand down is a blow to the government, which appeared to have rushed into appointing her. On Sunday last week Michael Gove said there would be no public inquiry. Within 24 hours the home secretary announced a wide-ranging inquiry that will examine how public institutions responded to allegations of child abuse.

There were suggestions that the Home Office overlooked Butler-Sloss’s family links. Government sources insisted last week that it was well known that Butler-Sloss was the sister of Havers.

Cooper criticised the home secretary for rushing the appointment of Butler-Sloss after stalling on holding an inquiry. The shadow home secretary said: “We have called for this inquiry for over 18 months. It is very unfortunate that the last-minute nature of the home secretary’s response means that proper consideration was not given to the perception of conflict of interest and Lady Butler-Sloss was placed in an unfair position by the Home Office.

Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond Park who organised a letter by 140 MPs calling for an inquiry, told The World at One on BBC Radio 4: “The Home Office spent too long thinking about whether or not the inquiry should happen. We were battering the Home Office to make this thing happen. They took a snap decision, it was the right decision, to do this inquiry – a Hillsborough-style all-encompassing enquiry. But then, having taken too long, they went too fast and I think the simply failed to do their homework [on appointing Butler-Sloss].”

Vaz, who raised concerns about the appointment with the Home Office permanent secretary, Mark Sedwill, last week, said: “I am not surprised by this decision; it is the right one. As I pointed out to Mr Sedwill the public would be concerned that a member of parliament, no matter how distinguished, had been appointed to head this important panel. The whole inquiry process is becoming shambolic: missing files, ministers refusing to read reports and now the chair resigning before the inquiry is has even commenced.”

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who has been campaigning to highlight historical cases of child abuse, praised Butler-Sloss as an “outstanding judge” but said it was right for her to stand down. He called for her to be replaced with a figure from outside the judiciary.

Danczuk told The World at One: “It doesn’t have to be somebody from the judiciary. It can be somebody from the third sector. The bishop of Liverpool chaired the Hillsborough inquiry very effectively. I am sure it is not beyond the wit of man to find somebody more appropriate to do this job.”

Downing Street indicated that the government would take its time to appoint a new chair.

Alison Millar, a solicitor for victims of child abuse, welcomed Butler-Sloss’s announcement. Millar said: “Our clients are pleased and we are relieved that Lady Butler-Sloss has taken this decision to stand down. This was the only sensible decision to ensure that survivors and the public could feel confident that the inquiry was not going to be jeopardised by accusations of bias.”

SURVIVORS of alleged sexual abuse expressed “relief” yesterday after tainted Baroness Butler-Sloss resigned as chairwoman of the probe into claims of an Establishment paedophilia cover-up: here.

UK government sets up “overarching” inquiries into child sex abuse: here.

After the resignation of the judge leading the government’s paedophile inquiry, it is clear that the Establishment is rattled. STEVEN WALKER reports on the investigations that could bring high-level child abusers to justice: here.

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3 thoughts on “British government’s child abuse inquirer resigns

  1. Pingback: David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ is Big Corruption | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Northern Ireland child abuse covered up? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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