Labour Mp Chuka Umunna Calls on Troubled Child Sex Abuse Inquiry Chief to Resign Amid Claims Probe Is ‘botched Job’

By Mike Sullivan
The Sun
November 18, 2016

New child sex abuse inquiry chair Prof Alexis Jay has faced demands to resign following accusations she is not qualified for the position

Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, representing those abused in Lambeth Council children’s homes in South London, withdrew its co-operation.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna also questioned whether Professor Jay could “command the confidence of the majority of survivors” because of her background in social work and lack of legal knowledge.

The Streatham MP told Radio 4’s programme that survivors were cynical about her because “many perpetrators” came from Professor Jay’s profession.

Chuka Umunna suggested Prof Jay’s background in social work – a profession she shares with many abusers – and lack of legal knowledge might trouble survivors

He added : “I’m not confident she can bring the qualities I’ve just outlined to this inquiry.”

Sosa’s Raymond Stevenson described the inquiry as a “stage-managed event which has now been contrived in such a way that it enables the guilty to wash their dirty hands, whilst the establishment pats itself on the back”.

Mr Stevenson accused the Home Office of initially trying to rig the inquiry by prohibiting evidence prior to 1970 to protect themselves from evidence showing its inspectors had ignored evidence of child abuse at the Shirley Oaks children’s home for decades.

He accused the inquiry of “tragically” failing victims, adding : “The inquiry needs to sort itself out. They need to get rid of Alexis Jay, who has been parachuted in by the Home Office, and we need to get someone else.”

Raymond Stevenson, representign Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, joined calls for Prof Jay to resign, calling the inquiry ‘stage managed’ and claiming it is there so the establishment can ‘pat itself on the back’

The vast inquiry was set up PM Theresa May in 2014 while she was Home Secretary to examine whether Britain’s public institutions failed children in their care, and is expected to run until 2024 at a cost of more than ?100million.

But it has been dogged by successive resignations of its leading lawyers and bitter accusations of racism, bullying and sexual misconduct. Lawyers say the 13 major strands of the inquiry are too broad and impossible to manage.

Downing Street yesterday said the Prime Minister continued to have full confidence in Professor Jay and did not believe the inquiry was in crisis.

A Number Ten spokesman said : “It’s important to emphasise that the work of the inquiry to investigate the abuse of children in Lambeth and elsewhere is on-going. That work will continue.

“The interests of victims and survivors are at the heart of this inquiry and it is right that it should be allowed to continue its work. It is important that it remains independent of Government.”

The troubled inquiry was set up by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary in 2014

But Labour MP Lisa Nandy said: “This must be the final wake up call to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.

“It’s time for them to get a grip on the serious problems and dysfunction at the very heart of this inquiry.

“Now the largest victims group has withdrawn its support and cooperation, Theresa May can no longer continue to blindly insist she has full confidence in its work just because she set it up and appointed many of the key figures.

“A fundamental overhaul is needed if this important work is to survive, and it must.”








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