May defends handling of child sex abuse inquiry concerns

Prime Minister Theresa May has defended the Home Office's handling of concerns about the leadership of the national inquiry into child sexual abuse that were raised months before Dame Lowell Goddard quit the post.

Speaking at PMQs, Mrs May recognised "there were stories around" about the former chair's handling of the inquiry but said the Home Secretary "cannot intervene on the basis of suspicion, rumour or hearsay".

Drusilla Sharpling, a member of the inquiry's panel, told the Commons Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday she reported concerns about the "qualities of leadership" to the then Home Office director general Mary Calam in April.

Dame Lowell, 67, resigned as chair of the inquiry in August.

Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd - who replaced May in the role - told the Home Affairs Select Committee that Dame Lowell quit her role partly because she found it "too lonely".