Child abuse inquiry chair denies close links to Lord Brittan

The chair of the Government's historic child abuse inquiry has insisted she does not have a "close association" with Lord Brittan amid calls for her to quit over their social links.

Mrs Woolf was giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee after disclosing details of her contacts with the peer and his wife, who live on the same street as her in the capital.

Fiona Woolf said the former Cabinet minister - who has flatly denied failing to act on a dossier of abuse allegations in the 1980s - was just "one of thousands" of people she knew in London.

The corporate lawyer has entertained Lord and Lady Brittan at dinner parties on three occasions since 2008, and dined at their house twice.

She also met the peer's wife for coffee, sat on a prize-giving panel with her, and sponsored her £50 for a fun-run - but insisted there was nothing in the encounters to stop her chairing the wide-ranging probe.