Child abuse inquiry in crisis after chair quits

  • Britain's child abuse inquiry has been thrown into fresh turmoil
  • Dame Lowell Goddard became its third chairman to quit
  • She has been asked to appear before MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee
  • Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the inquiry would continue "without delay"
  • Victims' groups have called for a replacement to be found "urgently"
  • One abuse survivor told ITV News that he felt "let down" by another resignation

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MPs seek explanation from Goddard over resignation

Chairman Keith Vaz has written to Dame Lowell Goddard to come before Home Affairs Select Committee. Credit: PA

Dame Lowell Goddard has been asked to explain herself to MPs following her resignation from the troubled child abuse inquiry.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said that Goddard's resignation is "extremely disappointing" and he has written to her to ask her to appear before MPs to explain her decision.

He told Sky News: "She is someone with impeccable credentials, so this is a big shock that she chooses to resign now.

"I think what's really important is that we find out the reasons why she has decided to take this course of action."

What she has to say is extremely pertinent, and I don't really think a resignation letter or a statement is enough.

– Keith Vaz MP

Third resignation 'embarrassing' for May's government

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener said that the third resignation of the child abuse inquiry chairman is "embarrassing" for the government.

She said that the appointment of Dame Lowell Goddard by Theresa May, as someone independent from the British establishment, meant that new Home Secretary Amber Rudd is "back at square one" to find a replacement.

But Rudd has assured abuse survivors that they have support from the "very top" to ensure the inquiry is a success.


'New chairman must be determined to see it through'

A lawyer specialising in representing child abuse victims has said that the inquiry will need a "very special and determined person to see it through to the end".

Peter Garsden, president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, said: "It will be very difficult to take over, there having been three previous candidates all of whom have resigned."

Abuse survivor 'bewildered' at inquiry crisis

An abuse survivor told ITV News he felt "bewildered and even betrayed" at the latest crisis to hit the child abuse inquiry.

Phil Johnson of the Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors' group described the inquiry as a "complete farce".

Dame Lowell Goddard is the third chairman to have resigned since the inquiry to investigate failings in relation to historic child abuse allegations was launched in March 2015.


Vaz demands 'full explanation' over Goddard resignation

Keith Vaz said 'serious questions' need to be answered. Credit: PA

The Government must provide a "full explanation" for Dame Lowell Goddard's decision to quit as head of the child sexual abuse inquiry, Labour's Keith Vaz has said.

Mr Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee, said the decision was "astonishing" and that "serious questions" should be asked about "why the Home Office has not monitored events more carefully".

"We will expect a full explanation from both the Prime Minister and the new Home Secretary about these matters," he said. "We need to examine again the remit, cost, purpose and ambition of what the inquiry was tasked with."

Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, said a new chair must be found as "a matter of great urgency", adding: "I hope the new Home Secretary will not attempt to take control of the investigation. The independence of this inquiry must not be compromised by ministers or officials."

Child abuse inquiry 'must not be derailed' by resignation

Dame Lowell Goddard resigned on Thursday. Credit: PA

Concerns have been raised about the future of Britain's troubled inquiry into child sex abuse after its third head resigned.

Dame Lowell Goddard resigned on Thursday, havign been appointed chair of the long-delayed inquiry in February 2015.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children's Society, said: "The crucial work of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse must not be derailed by the departure of the chair. For the sake of victims of abuse, it is important that progress is made quickly to appoint a new chair.

"However, there have now been three chairs appointed since the inquiry was first announced. Given this, it is equally important to ensure the new chair is the right person for the task ahead."

A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children spokesman said: "It is essential that the inquiry continues with minimum disruption and a replacement chair is found urgently. Victims and survivors have already waited too long to have their voices heard and for the abuse they suffered as children to be acknowledged and believed."

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