Abuse victims 'will not be pleased' with VIP paedophile inquiry says its former chief

By Keir Mudie
May 16, 2015

Doomed to failure: Baroness Butler-Sloss believes the child abuse inquiry will fail

Establisment family: Her brother Sir Michael Havers was Attorney General when much of the abuse took place

Time to go: Lady Butler-Sloss quit the inquiry after just six days

The inquiry into historic child abuse by VIPs is flawed and victims will be denied justice, according to a former head of the probe.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss quit the investigation in July 2014 after it emerged her brother Sir Michael Havers was Attorney General at the time of some of the worst alleged abuse in the 1980s.

But giving a public talk in the run-up to the election, the 81-year-old was recorded saying she believed the inquiry was doomed to failure.

Outspoken Lady Butler-Sloss – best-known for leading the inquest into Princess Diana’s death – also branded SNP chief Nicola Sturgeon a “fishwife” and Alex Salmond “arrogant”.

A recording of her remarks at the Chatpolitics event in London, handed to the Sunday People, confirmed that the Baroness does not believe the victims of the abuse will find closure in the investigation.

She said: “The real problem about this inquiry is the victims have now been given a false view that they’re all going to be heard.

"There are an enormous number of victims out there, and of course they won’t all be heard. I am absolutely sure that they will not be pleased with the result.”

The allegations investigated by the inquiry are linked to politicians, diplomats and other public figures and institutions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Lady Butler-Sloss also described the pressure put on her when calls were made to remove her from the inquiry due to her 'establishment links'.

She said: “A whole lot of things were being said about me. My children were very anxious I got out.

“I rang the Home Secretary and said I’ve got to go. She advised me to weather it, but I said no.”

During the wide-ranging interview, which took place just before the election, Lady Butler-Sloss - who until 2007 was the higest-ranking female judge in the UK- also aired a number of outspoken political views.

She labelled SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon a ‘fishwife.’

And she viciously attacked former leader Alex Salmond, saying: “I very much hope Alex Salmond will have an appalling time in the House of Commons. He’s so arrogant. I hope they sit on him.

“Scotland is part of the UK. It is outrageous that England, Northern Ireland and Wales did not have a say in Independence. The whole referendum was totally mismanaged.

“It was ridiculous that 16-year-olds in Scotland and English students at Scottish Universities, but not Scots in England, were allowed a vote.”

Reflecting on her career, Butler-Sloss revealed she stood for Parliament as a Conservative in 1959 ‘for the fin of it.’

She added: “Politics would not have been a good idea, I would have been very embarrassed if I’d been elected.”

She also spoke about her work on the James Bulger case, saying: “I’m still emailed by people saying what a wicked thing I did giving the killers anonymity. But when it’s a choice between life and death, it seems to me a very simple answer.”

She said she was “extremely shocked” by reports of judges viewing pornography during work hours, and went on to say the press generally are doing “huge damage.”

Lady Butler-Sloss lasted just six days as head of the child abuse inquiry during July last year.

She was replaced by Fiona Woolf, who stepped down after just over a month,

In February this year it was announced that the new inquiry chairman would be Dame Lowell Goodard - who has no known ties to any UK establishment figures.


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