Liddell to lead church abuse review group

By Will Humphries
December 6, 2016

Baroness Liddell, pictured with Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, said she hoped to see progress in the child abuse inquiry by mid-January

A Labour veteran will lead an independent group monitoring the Catholic church’s response to child sexual abuse — 16 months after it was called for by an official report.

Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, a former secretary of state for Scotland, has been appointed by the church after criticism that it was appearing to drag its feet over implementing new safeguards against child sexual abuse scandals, which have plagued it in recent years.

The Bishops’ Conference, the ruling body of the Catholic Church in Scotland, formally announced Baroness Liddell yesterday as the first chairwoman of the Independent Review Group. It will work separately from the church, reviewing new safeguarding standards and carrying out independent audits.

An independent body was called for 16 months ago by Andrew McLellan in his official inquiry report into the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Scotland.

At the beginning of last month, he criticised the Catholic hierarchy for failing to act on the recommendations of his commission, which called for an independent review body. The church responded on November 2 by saying a “chairman has accepted and the members of the group are being confirmed”.


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