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Abuse victims 'must get justice'

An inquiry into allegations of child sex abuse at the heart of the establishment is likely to turn up fresh claims about the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted.

T he Most Rev Justin Welby said it was something he dealt with daily and it was becoming clearer that "for many, many years things were not dealt with as they should have been dealt with".

Abuse survivors must now be shown justice and the Church must be "absolutely transparent" every step of the way, he told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show.

Asked if he was braced for the inquiry to uncover "bad stories", Archbishop Welby replied: " I would love to say there weren't, but I expect there are. There are in almost every institution in this land.

"This is, it's something I deal with every day and it is becoming clearer and clearer that for many, many years things were not dealt with as they should have been dealt with.

"And we must show justice to survivors of abuse. That is the first and absolute principle. And we must be absolutely transparent in every possible way and we have to keep saying how utterly devastated we are with the terrible things that were done in the past and how sorry we are."

It comes after the Home Office was yesterday again forced to defend the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to run the inquiry amid claims she refused to go public about a bishop implicated in a scandal.

Lady Butler-Sloss told a victim of alleged abuse she did not want to include the allegations in a review of how the Church of England dealt with two paedophile priests because she "cared about the Church" and "the press would love a bishop", it was claimed.

It put fresh pressure on the former High Court judge, who has faced calls to step down after reports that her brother Sir Michael Havers tried to prevent ex-MP Geoffrey Dickens airing claims about a diplomat in Parliament in the 1980s.

Lady Butler-Sloss insisted that she has "never" put the reputation of an institution ahead of justice for victims.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said there would be a panel of experts to sit alongside Lady Butler-Sloss.

Asked if there could be co-chairs with equal powers, he told Murnaghan on Sky News: "I think it's this precise detail that we are working on at this stage because it is important that we do draw on the right experts."

He added: "I think that Baroness Butler-Sloss's integrity shines through."

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper repeatedly dodged questions over whether Labour backed Lady Butler-Sloss as the right person to chair the inquiry.

She told Murnaghan: "I think she is an extremely experienced person who will be very good to do this job but she also needs the right people around her, she needs the Home Office to take action to make sure they address all of these concerns.

"If they can't they will need to make changes and rethink the whole thing but I think the ball should be in the Home Office's court now to set this up in the right way and to make sure they can do that because I do think she has immense expertise that should be drawn upon."


From Belfast Telegraph