1. National

Artists and actors among New Year honours

The creators of the sea of poppies that engulfed the Tower of London and actors Joan Collins, James Corden and Sheridan Smith are among those receiving awards in the New Year Honours.

View all 13 updates ›

Woolf abuse inquiry predecessor defends New Year honour

Criticism of the New Year honour awarded to former Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, a few months after she was forced to resign as chair of the Government's child sexual abuse inquiry, is "very unfair", her inquiry predecessor has said.

Baroness Butler-Sloss defended the damehood awarded to Ms Woolf, saying the "very least that the honours system could do would be to honour a woman who has got such a distinguished post".

The City of London lawyer was made a Dame for services to the legal profession, diversity and the City of London in the New Year Honours. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Labour MP Simon Danczuk had earlier said the award "seems inappropriate" and "once again ... looks like the Establishment is looking after their own".

Fiona Woolf misled the Home Secretary over her links with Leon Brittan, caused unnecessary distress to victims of child abuse and caused a lengthy and avoidable delay to a very serious inquiry that urgently needs to get started.

– Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale

Lady Butler-Sloss, who resigned from the inquiry first over her brother's establishment role during the 1980s, blamed the Home Office for failing to perform proper checks on Dame Fiona's links to former home secretary Lord Brittan.

More on this story