Inquiry Panel Investigating Historic Child Abuse Suspends Work

Further Meetings With Survivors Will Not Take Place Until A Decision Is Made

22.01.2015

The independent panel created to investigate historical sexual abuse as announced it is suspending work over concerns about its future and the lack of a chair person.

The inquiry has suffered a number of delays since it was launched by Home Secretary Theresa May, with former chairs Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf both resigning as the chair after revealing conflicts of interest.

A statement on the inquiry website said: "The panel has made the difficult choice to delay all scheduled listening meetings until after the Home Secretary has made her decision on the future of the panel and has announced who will be appointed as Chair.”

The panel will not conduct any further meetings with survivors of historic sexual abuse. It called for the Home Secretary, who launched the independent panel in July, appoints a chairman or decides to replace the inquiry panel.

Expert Opinion
It is extremely concerning to hear that this inquiry into historic sexual abuse has once again been hit with delays and that the independent panel feels it can no longer investigate this issue when its future is uncertain. The delays to the process mean that survivors of sexual abuse, who rightly wants answers and to see those responsible brought to justice, are left frustrated and angry by the lack of a clear outcome.

“However, while we understand these frustrations, it is important the work of the panel is thorough and the conclusions it reaches are correct. Survivors are a diverse group of people with differing opinions and needs, but many have been let down by authority in the past, so it is crucial the confusion concerning the panel’s future and the appointment of a chair person is resolved before any further work is carried out, as the current situation puts the answers and justice the survivors deserve at risk.”
Tracey Storey, Partner