Theresa May shores up child sex abuse inquiry amid resignations

The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016

The prime minister has stepped in to shore up the struggling national inquiry into child abuse, saying it was a crucial investigation to stop more children becoming victims in the future.

Theresa May insisted the inquiry, which she set up while she was home secretary, would not be scaled back. She spoke on Thursday after the sudden suspension of the most senior counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC, the previous night.

On a visit to meet serving soldiers in Bulford, Wiltshire, May said: “For too many years too many people have been raising their voice saying what had happened to them and people have not been listening, they have not been taken seriously.

“We need to investigate, we need to learn the lessons of the past and if we don’t do that we can’t guarantee we are going to be able to stop such abuse from happening again in the future.”

She said she had faith in the new chair of the inquiry – its fourth to be appointed – Alexis Jay. Jay returned from two weeks’ holiday this week and into a new controversy for the inquiry – this time, the suspension of its lead counsel, Emmerson, over what the inquiry said were recent concerns about his leadership.

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