Child abuse inquiry hit by new resignation

18 November 2016

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A LAWYER heading the investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), Professor Aileen McColgan, has resigned.

The BBC’s Newsnight programme reported on Tuesday that Professor McColgan had “concerns over the competency of the leadership of the inquiry”. She is the seventh lawyer to resign in recent months.

In a statement, the IICSA said: “We have a large legal team, comprising a number of junior counsel, senior counsel, and solicitors. They come and go, subject to their professional obligations, and we are not commenting on specifics.”

Last week, the Home Affairs Select Committee released a letter in which Dame Lowell Goddard, the former chairwoman of the IICSA, who resigned suddenly in the summer (News, 12 August), explained why she would not appear before them to give evidence. She had provided written evidence in response to the committee’s questions, she said, and the request for an oral evidence session was made “without identifying any content for one, or need”.

The committee’s new chairwoman, the Labour MP Yvette Cooper, said: “Dame Goddard has been paid significant amounts of public money to do an extremely important job, which she suddenly resigned from, leaving a series of questions. . . Child-abuse survivors have been let down by the extremely rocky start to this inquiry, and we do need answers as to why it went wrong, in order to be confident it is back on track now.”

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