Child Sex Abuse Inquiry Crisis: Another Senior Lawyer "Quits over Leadership Concerns"

November 15, 2016

The reported resignation of Aileen McColgan is another blow for Professor Alexis Jay, pictured, the fourth person to lead the inquiry CREDIT: COLIN WHYMAN/PA

Another senior lawyer has reportedly quit the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Aileen McColgan has resigned from the investigation due to concerns over its leadership, BBC Newsnight reported.

Ms McColgan, who is also a law professor at Kings' College London, was involved in the inquiry's investigations into the Anglican and Catholic Church.

Her reported departure follows senior counsel Ben Emmerson's resignation a day after he was suspended.

Mr Emmerson's junior colleague, Elizabeth Prochaska, also stood down.

Current chair Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth person to lead the inquiry after Dame Lowell Goddard's resignation.

An inquiry spokeswoman did not confirm or deny Ms McColgan's departure.

She 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."

Yvette Cooper is chairing a Commons Home Affairs Committee inquiry into original inquiry. Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, she called Ms McColgan's resignation "a concern".

Yvette Cooper is chairing a Commons Home Affairs Committee inquiry into original inquiry CREDIT: PA WIRE

She added: "This is a really important inquiry into historic child abuse and itís had a very difficult two-year history so far." ?

She said would request evidence from Ms McColgan and called for transparency over what had gone wrong in the inquiry.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "What's unclear is how much this has been about legacy problems and, clearly, personality issues, but whether there were also structural issues for the last two years and the difficulties they had, or whether there were ongoing problems for the future.

"I think if we had some transparency about the things that had gone wrong in the past then that will help us be confident that it's all back on track now.

"But you can't stress enough that this has got to be about getting it back on track for the survivors of child abuse because they really need to know that this inquiry is going to be effective."

Explaining the importance of speaking to those who have left the inquiry, Ms Cooper did not spare Dame Lowell, who could receive up to ?90,000 severance pay, from criticism.

"She has obviously taken a lot of money from the inquiry. She was obviously a very well-paid chair for the inquiry, and things clearly went wrong on her watch and went quite badly wrong.

"And what we wanted to know is what the lessons are from that, to make sure that that can inform the process going forward."








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