Victims’ groups turn on head of abuse inquiry

By James Lyons And James Gillespie
Sunday Times
November 20, 2016

Jay: did not want to answer questions from MPs again

Alexis Jay, the chairwoman of the inquiry into child sex abuse, was facing a fresh crisis this weekend after two more organisations expressed a lack of confidence in her, following the decision by one group to pull out altogether.

The Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) group is seeking an urgent meeting with the panel of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) “to find out exactly where this is going, because none of us really know”.

Meanwhile, there are fresh concerns over a police investigation into child sex abuse allegations against the former prime minister Edward Heath.

Robert Buckland, the solicitor-general, is understood to have privately raised concerns with Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire’s police and crime commissioner, about the inquiry, which he regards as a costly “fishing expedition”.

The sense of crisis surrounding IICSA deepened last week when the Shirley Oaks Survivors’ Association announced that it was withdrawing from the process which had become a “stage-managed event [that] enables the guilty to wash their dirty hands”.

In response, Labour’s Chuka Umunna has called on Jay to resign.


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