Whilst Baroness Butler-Sloss has taken the right decision, Theresa May has yet again proven herself to be hapless and hopeless
In resigning as the head of a probe into child sex abuse, retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss has shown herself to be a decent and sensible lady. Whilst many would argue she should not have been appointed in the first place, the sister of the late Sir Michael Havers – Attorney General between 1979 and 1987 – Butler-Sloss has now accepted that she is “not the right person for the job”.
In a statement, 81-year old Lady Butler Sloss said:
“I was honoured to be invited by the Home Secretary to chair the wide-ranging inquiry about child sexual abuse and hoped I could make a useful contribution… It has become 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”.
“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”.
Though the government is right to argue that the widely respected Lady Butler-Sloss “would have done a first class job as chair”, she did not command the respect or trust of many whom would appear before her. In resigning, Lady Butler-Sloss has thrown the hapless and hopeless Home Secretary Theresa May a lifeline. May Mrs May realise that as, in fact, she is the one who truly ought to have resigned.
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Conflict of interest, nice lady and all. Please don’t come with the mistakes have been made, lessons have been learned spiel. We know the victims are brave to come forward, and how terrible it must have been for them. They want to draw a line under it, any which way.