Socialist Worker

Tory child abuse inquiry in chaos as judge Butler-Sloss quits

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2412

Margaret Thatcher has been accused of covering child abuse

Margaret Thatcher has been accused of covering up child abuse (Pic: Flickr/quixotic54)

The government was blasted this week as the judge appointed to lead a child sex abuse inquiry quit less than a week into the job.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss blamed a “widespread perception” she was “not the right person to chair the inquiry”. 

This comes amid allegations her late brother Sir Michael Havers tried to stop suspected child abusers being named in the House of Commons in the 1980s.

The inquiry was set to look at the way Sir Michael, who was Attorney General from 1979 to 1987, handled child sex abuse allegations.

As the inquiry descended even further into chaos new allegations also emerged at the weekend. 

Margaret Thatcher personally covered up child abuse allegations made against one of her senior ministers, according to the Sunday People newspaper.

And Anthony Gilberthorpe, who chaired the Stroud Young Conservatives in the early 1980s, made allegations about the former chairman of the Scottish Conservatives. 

Gilberthorpe said that during the Tory conference in 1983 he was given “about £120” by Dr Alistair Smith who told him, “Go and fetch some entertainment.” By which he apparently meant young boys.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.