MPs and the Catholic and Anglican churches will be investigated over historical child sex abuse claims in England and Wales, it has been announced.
Former politicians, spies, councils, schools and youth offender institutions are also being scrutinised by the independent inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard.
Speaking in central London the judge set out 12 different lines of inquiry that will each hold public hearings with victims, witnesses and experts. Both churches as well as Lambeth, Nottinghamshire and Rochdale councils will be among the first areas of focus.
Justice Goddard said: “The investigation will focus on high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse involving current or former members of parliament, senior civil servants, government advisers and members of intelligence and security agencies. It will consider allegations of cover up and conspiracy and review the adequacy of law enforcement responses to these allegations.”
The investigation was set up last year following claims of a high-level cover up of abuse and has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairs, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf. It will be Britain’s largest-ever public inquiry and is expected to take up to five years and cost tens of millions of pounds.
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