Theresa May: 'No regrets' over Butler-Sloss appointment

Theresa May has defended the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to the wide-ranging inquiry into allegations of child abuse at a number of institutions saying she had no regrets about the decision.

Latest ITV News reports

May: Home Office whistleblower was quizzed by police

Theresa May says she was informed a whistleblower that claimed to know about alleged funding of a paedophile campaign group had chosen not to be interviewed by the Home Office.

Tim Hulbert had told ITV News he was not interviewed during a Home Office probe into claims the department had provided money to the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Ms May told the Home Affairs Select Committee "the information I have got is that he was invited for an interview and then decided not to undertake that", having instead given information to the Metropolitan Police that "could be shared" with the department's investigation.

Read Whistleblower: I was told to 'back off' over paedophiles

May: No evidence of funding to paedophile group

Theresa May has defended the decision not to question a whistleblower who claims the Home Office had offered a grant to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).

Theresa May was quizzed over claims

Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee, Ms May said she would respond in writing to questions about the claims made to ITV News by former civil servant Tim Hulbert.

Ms May told the committee a prior review had found no evidence of either direct or indirect funding to the PIE from the department.

However, Labour MP Ian Austin criticised the decision not to interview Mr Hulpert in that review, and accused the Home Secretary of not having "looked into" it fully as she paused during his questioning.

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Home Office 'acting too quickly' on appointments

Home Secretary Theresa May has been urged to "take time to consult" over the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss' replacement as chair of an inquiry into alleged child abuse.

"We just feel too much is happening too quickly without proper due diligence," Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee told Ms May in relation to recent appointments into two separate inquiries announced recently.

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Vaz to Home Sec: Pls don't rush Butler-Sloss replacement, "we've seen what happens with quick announcements-they sometimes go the wrong way"

One MP on the committee said the Home Office should have done more research before appointing Lady Butler-Sloss, who subsequently resigned.

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David Winnick MP to Home Sec: perhaps should should have probed a little harder into Butler-Sloss & her brother's past decisions

May 'not aware' of cover-up claims before appointment

Theresa May has said she was only recently made aware of claims that Baroness Butler-Sloss' late brother was involved in a cover-up of alleged child abuse.

The Home Secretary was asked about allegations former Attorney General Sir Michael Havers urged an MP not to name an alleged paedophile using Parliamentary privilege.

Ms May said the claims had not been made public or brought to her attention before the appointment of Sir Michael's sister Lady Butler-Sloss to head an inquiry into the protection of children from child abuse.

Theresa May: I do not regret Butler-Sloss appointment

Theresa May is giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Theresa May is giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Theresa May has defended the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to the wide-ranging inquiry into allegations of child abuse at a number of institutions.

"I do not regret the decision I made," she told the Home Affairs Select Committee, as she denied chairman Keith Vaz's claim that Lady Butler-Sloss had shown "better judgement" in deciding to stand down.

"I continue to believe that she would have done an excellent job," she said.

Butler-Sloss role 'may have made it harder for victims'

Labour MP Tom Watson has told ITV News "the law has to be seen to be done" after Baroness Butler-Sloss' decision to stand down from leadership of an inquiry into allegations of child abuse.

Mr Watson, who campaigned for an inquiry into the claims, said even though Baroness Butler-Sloss "would not be compromised" by any potential relationships she had, her position as chair of the probe would have made it harder for victims to come forward.

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Yvette Cooper: Butler-Sloss 'placed in unfair position'

The government's "last-minute response" to calls for an inquiry into child abuse has led to Baroness Butler-Sloss' decision to step down as chair of the probe, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has claimed.

Yvette Cooper claims Lady Butler-Sloss was put in an "unfair position".
Yvette Cooper claims Lady Butler-Sloss was put in an "unfair position".

Ms Cooper said Lady Butler-Sloss' decision was "the right one" but argued she was put in an "unfair position" by the Home Office, who she claimed had "not managed to address the concerns about either victim confidence or conflict of interest".

"The Government's response to the very serious allegations over child abuse is in danger of losing direction," she added.

"This inquiry now has no chair and no terms of reference and there is considerable confusion over what it will be able to cover, and what the powers of the other investigation into the Home Office and Whitehall will be too."

Butler-Sloss replacement 'by end of the week'

A new chair of the sex abuse inquiry formerly headed by Baroness Butler-Sloss will be in place by the end of the week, a government source has told ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship.

The source said despite the speed of the appointment, the decision "will not be rushed".

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A replacement for Butler-Sloss by the end of the week but "it won't be rushed" says a govt source. And it MAY NOT be another retired judge

Tom Watson: Government rushed inquiry process

Labour MP Tom Watson - who petitioned for a national inquiry into child abuse allegations - has told ITV News Baroness Butler-Sloss' background would have made it difficult for victims to come forward.

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Mp @tom_watson tells us Butler-Sloss would have made it more difficult for victims to come forward & govt rushed decision to set up inquiry

Lady Butler-Sloss said upon stepping down that she didn't "sufficiently consider" whether her background and her brother's position as Attorney General would "cause difficulties".

Read: Baroness Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry

Law firm 'relieved' after Butler-Sloss decision

A law firm representing alleged victims of assaults in institutions linked to the child abuse inquiry has welcomed Baroness Butler-Sloss' decision to stand down.

"We are relieved that Lady Butler-Sloss has taken this decision to stand down," Alison Millar of Leigh Day said.

"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," she added.

The issue was never the integrity of Lady Butler-Sloss or what she knew of her brother's actions as the chief legal adviser to the Government. It was always the fact that she would ultimately have to judge those actions.

This would never have been acceptable for an inquiry which requires not only to be transparent but to be seen as such by those who have in the past been so badly failed by the establishment.

– Alison Millar, Leigh Day law firm
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