Magnificent Seven MPs champion survivors voices on new panel

Zac Goldsmith MP

Zac Goldsmith MP

The seven  MPs who demanded an overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse have written to Theresa May, the home secretary again – this time to say survivors must be appointed to the new independent panel.

My  report on  the Exaro website reveals that the seven have asked for a meeting to discuss who will sit on the panel and what the terms of reference should be.

The letter says: “If Lady Butler Sloss is to Chair the Inquiry, and given the many questions that have surrounded her appointment, it is essential that the group as a whole is absolutely robust, with a wide range of trusted representatives, including survivors.”

The good news is that all the MPs are agreed that survivor involvement is a must and a robust panel is essential. Zac Goldsmith said:”The strength and credibility of the inquiry will depend on the terms of reference and the panel of people, who must be absolutely bullet-proof.

The seven Mps are: Zac Goldsmith, Simon Danczuk ,Tessa Munt,Tom Watson,Tim Loughton,         Caroline Lucas and John Hemming.

It is excellent that the seven are emphasising the role for survivors and tough people on the inquiry. It is exactly what is needed. The signs are that Theresa May is willing to meet them possibly early this week as she is not expected to be affected by the reshuffle.

Now all MPs asked by their colleagues to back child sex abuse inquiry

Tim Loughton MP

Tim Loughton MP

Every MP in Parliament is to be asked by former Conservative children’s minister, Tim Loughton, and  Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP for Richmond, to sign up to the original call by seven MPs of all parties for an independent panel  to be set up by Theresa May, the home secretary.

The latest move revealed today by Exaro news is a further acceleration of a campaign  which has now attracted support – at the latest count of 53 MPs.

A groundswell of support in Parliament for such an inquiry quickly grew thanks to a crowd-sourcing campaign by Exaro’s Twitter followers (@ExaroNews), and David Cameron was challenged about it at prime minister’s questions last week.

The original seven – as well as Loughton and Goldsmith – are Tom Watson. the Labour MP who raised the Peter Righton scandal in Parliament; Simon Danczuk, who has written a book and raised the scandal about serial paedophile Sir Cyril Smith;Liberal Democrats Tessa Munt and John Hemming and Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP.

Full details of the letter sent to Theresa May and a full list of the 53 MPs backing the inquiry are on the Exaro website.