Lady Butler-Sloss has resigned from her position as chair of the inquiry into historic child abuse, it was announced today.
The inquiry will examine how state institutions handled their duty of care to protect children from abusers following allegations of abuse committed by MPs during the 1980s and 90s.
Her resignation today follows much controversy over her appointment (see box).
In a statement released today, Lady Butler-Sloss said: “I did not sufficiently consider whether my background and the fact my brother had been attorney general would cause difficulties.”
“Nor should media attention be allowed to be diverted from the extremely important issues at stake, namely whether enough has been done to protect children from sexual abuse and hold to account those who commit these appalling crimes,” she said.
She continued: “This is a victim-orientated inquiry and those who wish to be heard must have confidence that the members of the panel will pay proper regard to their concerns and give appropriate advice to government.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was “deeply saddened” by Lady Butler-Sloss’ decision, but understood and respected her reasons.
“As she said herself, the work of this inquiry is more important than any individual and an announcement will be made on who will take over the chairmanship and membership of the panel as soon as possible so this important work can move forward,” May said.
There has not yet been any announcement on who will replace Lady Butler-Sloss as chair of the historic child abuse inquiry.
Downing street has revealed the appointment “may take a few days”.