Home Secretary Theresa May has now made her statement in the House of Commons on the new terms and Chair for the nation’s inquiry into child sexual abuse. May confirmed the following to the House this afternoon:

  • The current panel will be disbanded and a new inquiry created which will now have Statutory Status. This will give the Inquiry more powers to compel witnesses and secure evidence for the Inquiry.
  • The new Chair for the Inquiry will be New Zealand High Court Judge Justice Lowell Goddard. A concern was raised that Justice Goddard had been cited in a blog as being part of a cover up. The Home Secretary confirmed that this was brought to the attention of Survivors and they have taken a view on it. We are told that Survivors are satisfied this allegation is immaterial.
  • Although all current panel members have been asked to step down, Professor Jay was specifically invited by the Home Secretary to reapply for a position on the new panel.
  • Ben Emmerson QC will stay on as counsel to the Inquiry.
  • Guidelines for the selection process for both Chair and panel members will be posted on the GOV.UK site shortly.

You can read Ben Emmerson QC’s statement, published today on the Inquiry’s website, here.

New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard