Michael Gove laments 'unseemly row' over Baroness Butler-Sloss abuse inquiry appointment

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By Chris Ship: ITV News Deputy Political Editor

The Education Secretary has defended the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to head the independent inquiry into child abuse.

Michael Gove - who dismissed the call for a public inquiry as recently as Sunday - said that the retired judge is "a person of unimpeachable integrity" who "no one doubts is absolutely committed to upholding justice."

He called the debate over her appointment "an unseemly row."

Some MPs have criticised the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss - who is the sister of the late Sir Michael Havers, the Attorney General at the time some of the allegations of child abuse are said to have taken place.

Baroness Butler-Sloss will lead the inquiry into sex abuse allegations. Credit: PA

Sir Michael Havers has been accused of blocking the prosecution of a paedophile at the time in the 1980s.

However, Michael Gove was unambiguous in his support for her today.

Lady Butler-Sloss herself yesterday told an ITN producer through her apartment intercom that the Home Secretary had asked her to lead the inquiry and she fully intends to do so.