Child Sex Abuse Inquiry: Theresa May’s more sensible way forward

Theresa May, home sercretary. Pic Credit: conservatives.com

Theresa May, home sercretary. Pic Credit: conservatives.com

After the complete debacle over the rushed appointment  and swift resignation of Baroness Butler-Sloss to  head the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse, Theresa May met six of the ” Magnificent” seven MPs again.

An account taken from a  couple of them appears on the Exaro site today suggests that the Home Office has now reverted to the way it has followed in setting up all other independent panels, including the Daniel Morgan and Gosport hospital inquiries which means consulting people before appointing people.

From my own sources I always thought Theresa May was rushed into making a decision by a Downing Street panicked by newspaper headlines.

The good news is that the six MPs were unanimous that a survivor MUST sit on the panel and  the home secretary  was open to names. It was also clear that the government will not be rushed again to announce a new chair of the inquiry. MPs also stressed the need for proper help for victims

As important will be the terms of reference for the inquiry, how the inquiry gathers evidence, how far it can investigate and whether the police and the security services get immunity in passing over information.

Here the Home Office will have to do some hard thinking to make sure that the inquiry panel;  must be both seen  to act without fear or favour or people  will lose confidence in its ability to  get to the real facts.

It must be able to go anywhere and tackle the issues in places where there are still secrets like Jersey and Northern Ireland.

It must not just be a lessons learned exercise from previous work – even though that  is all-encompassing in itself – given the large number of inquiries and police investigations.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to sort out the sordid history of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom and make recommendations – from the investigation of the scandals to proper after care for survivors. The government – and any future government after 2015 – must not blow it this time.

9 thoughts on “Child Sex Abuse Inquiry: Theresa May’s more sensible way forward

  1. Even though a Labour man and Trade Unionist I have always thought of Theresa May as a good and honest Home Secretary. I and friends on the other side of the political divide have confidence in her and support her in this difficult task. However she must consider and take into account the following: Full support for people coming forward especially Police Officers both serving and current. She must also allow the enquiry to examine all aspects of the allegations for example, Islington, Lambeth, the North etc. The Johnny come lately’s who have obvious agendas must not be allowed on the enquiry top table – let them stick to their blogs and leaked articles in the press. Be brave and appoint legal people with bite and above all remember we owe this to the victims, survivors, the dead and the future.

    • “Be brave and appoint legal people with bite”. The UK is a law based country, it follows that the legal fraternity have to be involved; But I would suggest only in an advisory capacity.
      Respect Teresa May, or not, she and any legal people you might wish to be involved, are establishment people. I would rather see brutal street justice than another public inquiry with lawyers and their fine words – about ten billion of them (words that is), printed at HMSO, and with the official regal seal.
      There are few around, non-legal, non-political, ethical, individuals who value true justice; it is people such as they who should compose the panel of inquiry – where is Diogenes (and his lantern) when one needs him.

  2. In any enquiry there must be no use of the Official Secrets Act to prevent either names or information coming to hand.Indeed I go further,if any members of MI5 or MI6 were found to be involved in child abuse or involved in its cover up,then they must be named,shamed and jailed.

    • TM said early on that she would look at releasing witnesses from their OSA obligations so they can testify freely. I take that to mean that HMG already knows that this will need to happen so the truth can come forward. There is no way anyone can plausibly use “national security” to prevent intel personnel from speaking on this. And yes, I completely agree that anyone in our intel agencies who has committed an offence should be prosecuted.

  3. There are many victims who have come forward and there will be many, many more. What upsets me is we all know that just as many won’t come forward due to shame, mental illness or disbelief in any inquiry – that’s the saddest part of all.

  4. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    I so hope that this inquiry is done with great respect for the victims. I know we will never catch them all, but these disgusting perverts need to suffer and to be stopped before someone else becomes a victim.

  5. You’ll need to ensure unlimited funding and unlimited time at the outset, to complete what you’ve suggested above.
    Our Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia has uncertainty already. The current conservative government is very close to the Catholic Church and the Christian Lobby, as is the leader of the Labor opposition. They determine whether it continues and for how long. There are thousands of cases still waiting to be heard. It’s all up in the air.
    Commissioner Peter McClellan has asked for more funding and is yet to receive a response …
    These inquiries are so closely connected to politicians and their parties, you just don’t want to have to deal with that a few years down the track.

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