Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss

Retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss has said she is stepping aside as the head of an inquiry into allegations of historical child abuse.

Downing Street said “it was entirely her decision” and a new chair would be appointed within days.

Lady Butler-Sloss has been under pressure to quit from MPs and victims concerned about her family links.

Her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, was attorney general in the 1980s.

Downing Street said it would “take a few days” to appoint a new chairman and appeared to indicate that whoever was chosen would not be so closely linked to the establishment.

David Cameron’s spokesman said there had been no change in the view of the prime minister or Home Secretary Theresa May about Lady Butler-Sloss’s integrity or suitability for the job.

“She has taken the decision to step down as chair of the panel inquiry,” he said. “It is entirely her decision.

“The government’s view hasn’t changed, that she would have done a first-class job as chair. The reasons for her appointment still absolutely stand in terms of her professional expertise and her integrity, which I don’t think has been questioned from any quarter whatsoever, and rightly so.”

No 10 said the decision had not been prompted by suggestions a co-chairman might be appointed to the panel.
Mrs May spoke to Lady Butler-Sloss over the weekend after she was informed of her decision.

BBC political correspondent Norman Smith said questions had been raised over Lady Butler-Sloss’s age – she will be 81 next month.




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12 responses to “Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry

  1. My personal view is that I am rather surprised that Butler-Sloss accepted the role in the first place knowing there was for her, a conflict of interest with her brothers role.

  2. Steve Pope

    What does it say about her competence, let alone integrity, that it hadn’t occurred to her that brother Sir Michael, as Thatcher’s Attorney General during the period in question, would be centrally involved in the very decisions she’ be retrospectively passing judgment upon? To say nothing of her own complicity in the Cleveland whitewash and the Church Of England cover-up…

    • Ian

      I agree with Steve. If the panel at the select committee were genuine in their comments about her integrity not being called into question, the process is in trouble already.

  3. pete

    missing files could be at hutton near preston Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters

  4. Ian

    At the select committee this afternoon Theresa May said she knew of Butler-Shloss conflict, including her brother’s part in trying to obstruct naming names in parliament but she still considered Butler-Shloss the best person for the job. Rotten to their very souls the lot of em.

  5. dpack

    the venerable lady has declined the role in a timely manner and with good grace showing a proper understanding of the relevant issues and i wish her a long and happy retirement untroubled by the thought she may have been set up as an”aunt sally”in this matter

    as to whoever could chair an inquiry into the matters under scrutiny that is intended to reveal the full truth i am rather at a loss for suggestions that would be acceptable .

    all branches of the “establishment”have issues to answer for and the “establishment”would not accept the chair being held by an “oik”or even a non conformist from their own ranks.going international in the pool of possibilities is one option but the same concerns would apply.

    maybe a jury of 49 random citizens should elect a jury foreperson as chair from among their number .
    with trustworthy expert panellists to advise them during the inquiry that could be a viable model for a proper inquiry into such a complex situation.

    in the event of that not happening my best suggestion is mike mansfield qc if he would be prepared to take the job i would trust him to be in search of truth based on his previous works and that he seemed a decent chap to share a curry with which isnt much to go on really

    this situation needs to be addressed properly and to seek truth in every aspect

  6. steve

    Good,also see T.May never gave an yes answer when asked if she knew about the connections,mmmmmm seems to she sure as hell did no,just as corrupt as the rest

  7. Pingback: 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. |

  8. Excellent Idea 49 random citizens, without Government interference of any kind this has to be the way to go…..

  9. Pingback: British government’s child abuse inquirer resigns | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Dennis

    Butler-Schloss also “stepped down” from Diana’s inquest. Prelude to a cover-up

  11. There is no virtue in Butler Sloss stepping down, she simply saw the beating she was going to receive via public scrutiny. it amazes me the amount of arrogance the ruling class and establishment have. They really can look at the camera and say there is no conflict of interest, when a sister investigates her own brother. No airs and graces can excuse that amount of BS.