Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JUDGE QUITS CHILD SEX ABUSE INQUIRY; BLOW TO CAMERON AS BUTLER-SLOSS BOWS TO PRESSURE OVER DOUBLE STORM; Butler-Sloss Departure Embarrasses Government

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JUDGE QUITS CHILD SEX ABUSE INQUIRY; BLOW TO CAMERON AS BUTLER-SLOSS BOWS TO PRESSURE OVER DOUBLE STORM; Butler-Sloss Departure Embarrasses Government

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

FORMER judge Baroness Butler-Sloss today dramatically quit as head of the biggest yet inquiry into the child abuse scandals at the heart of the establishment.

Her departure was a blow to David Cameron, who chose her and resisted calls from a victim of abuse and from the Labour Party for her to stand down.

It leaves the over-arching Hillsborough-style probe without a head until the Prime Minister finds a new one, which will take at least several days.

Lady Butler-Sloss's position was undermined by twin controversies. First, she was accused of having a conflict of interest because her brother was the former Attorney General who defended a decision not to prosecute a senior diplomat exposed as a paedophile in the 1980s.

Second, she was reported to have told a victim of alleged abuse that she did not want to include allegations in a review of how the Church of England dealt with two paedophile priests because she "cared about the Church" and "the press would love a bishop".

With more heavyweight critics joining in the calls for her to go, Home Secretary Theresa May and Lady Butler-Sloss both issued statements at lunchtime saying the baroness had decided to step aside.

Pressure grew this morning when former Solicitor General Vera Baird, now a Labour police commissioner, called for her to be axed. "The difficulty is that she is, through her family, linked to the very establishment that this inquiry is being set up to look at," said Mrs Baird. Lady Butler-Sloss Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 has insisted she has "never" put the reputation of an institution ahead of justice for victims.

However, the departure is embarrassing to the Government, which is suspected of failing to realise that Baroness Butler-Sloss was the sister of Lord Havers, the former Attorney General and Lord Chancellor in the 1980s. …

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