Socialist Worker

Latest child sexual abuse inquiry chair under fire

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2427

Questions continue to be asked about the chair of the inquiry into historic child abuse Fiona Woolf and her links to former Tory home secretary Leon Brittan.

He is at the centre of a furore about the way the Home Office handled a dossier on child sex abuse by senior politicians. The dossier was subsequently lost.

MPs have asked Woolf to clarify details about her links to Brittan after she provided a list of meetings they had together that appeared to be incomplete.

The inquiry will look at whether public bodies and other institutions did enough to protect children from sexual abuse.

Woolf was appointed after the government’s original choice, Baroness Butler-Sloss, stepped down after victims’ families expressed concerns about her independence.

Allegations of sexual abuse at a Belfast boys’ home will not be examined in the inquiry into historical child abuse.

It has long been alleged that well-known figures in the British establishment were involved in child abuse at the Kincora home in the east of the city in the 1970s.

Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers said an inquiry into historical abuse in Northern Ireland was better suited.

She pointed out that Woolf had no powers of compulsion.


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