Home Secretary Theresa May promised two weeks ago and 200 days into the nation’s Inquiry on Child Abuse that she would have a Chair and an Inquiry structure by the end of last month, and here were are, already the 3rd of February, and not a word. Despite our best efforts at getting a status update from the Home Office on Twitter yesterday, and this morning, we have not so much as had a response. It’s a deafening silence, one which survivors must be feeling.
If the government has learned anything about this Inquiry, it must be that keeping survivors and the public informed is a priority. Yet they continue to fail on that front.
It may be that the events of the last few days have scuppered May’s plans to announce a Chair in the time in which she promised to do so. After all, a committee that cross examines naughty panel members and then is found to be naughty itself, is hardly something the Home Secretary can ignore, but is the real issue finding someone to Chair the Inquiry – someone who is willing to put their career on the line for an Inquiry which seems impossibly tainted and crooked to the core?
Either way, there is no excuse for the silence, which simply goes to highlighting the government’s ineptitude and stupidity. The public are already in a frenzy over the possible causes for the delay – from Chair intrigue, to Home Affairs Committee scandals, to sheer dithering, the rising discord from the deafening silence emanating from Home Office headquarters is making a very bad problem, very much worse.
An update now, is long overdue. Yes, if May tells the truth and tells all about the delay it is likely to cause anger, but the continued inaction after promises repeatedly broken is just going to turn that anger into a furore. The government must respond on this issue, now.
So come on Theresa, it’s time to come clean.