Two down: Woolf resigns from sex abuse inquiry

Beleaguered: At last, Fiona Woolf has done the decent thing, after acknowledging that she could never hold the trust of child sex abuse victims due to her relationship with Leon Brittan, who might have to give evidence to the inquiry she had been appointed to chair.

Beleaguered: At last, Fiona Woolf has done the decent thing, after acknowledging that she could never hold the trust of child sex abuse victims due to her relationship with Leon Brittan, who might have to give evidence to the inquiry she had been appointed to chair.

The second chair of the so-called independent inquiry into historic child sex abuse cases has resigned, according to the BBC.

Fiona Woolf said she wanted to “get out of the way” after it became clear that victims did not have any confidence in her.

To the Tories, you see, image is everything – and it had been made abundantly clear to Mrs Woolf that hers was tarnished by her freely-admitted association with Leon Brittan, a man who, as Home Secretary during the 1980s, managed to lose a dossier containing the names of more than 100 alleged child sex offenders, including some prominent Conservative Party members (if rumours are to be believed).

The association made her as suspicious to victims’ groups as her forerunner, Baroness Butler-Sloss, whose own name was unavoidably linked with that of the late Sir Michael Havers, attorney-general during the 1980s, whose behaviour has also been called into question by allegations that he tried to hush up child sex abuse allegations against prominent members of the Establishment.

And these were all Establishment figures in their own right. Mrs Woolf had tried to distance herself from these claims by making assurances that she herself was not a member of the Establishment – but her case was lost before she even made it. She is, you see, the Lord Mayor of London.

This second resignation from an inquiry that is supposed to be independent, by a chairperson who had clear ties to people she would have been investigating, has raised renewed claims that the current Home Secretary, Theresa May, has not carried out ‘due diligence’ when considering who to appoint.

Mrs May seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. She has to appoint someone who is acceptable to the Conservative Party, but who is also acceptable to the general public – and the public has serious issues with her choices for the reason laid out in this very blog less than a month ago: Will a Conservative-led government ever find someone to chair this inquiry who is free of any alleged connections to its subject matter?

And the longer this drags on, the more suspicious the entire situation will seem. People will start asking more deeply disturbing questions. Logically, the first will be whether Mrs May has encountered so much difficulty in appointing a chairperson because the Conservatives want to influence the inquiry’s outcome, to ensure that nobody connected with them is ever implicated.

You see, image is everything to the Tories, especially with a general election taking place in the not-too-distant future.

David Cameron had given his backing to the choice of Mrs Woolf – as, if memory serves, he did to the choice of Baroness Butler-Sloss – so the resignation calls his judgement into question.

Then again, it seems that almost everything said about Cameron these days calls his judgement into question, whether it is his cavalier attitude to the NHS privatisation started by his former boss Andrew Lansley (that he didn’t understand), his keenness to award NHS contracts to Tory donors, his (alleged) failure to take an interest in the European Union’s re-evaluation of membership fees until he was presented with a bill for £1.7 billion this week, or any of the many other bombshells that seem to be bursting around him every day.

A report in Thursday’s Guardian has accused him of misleading the public over the total amount of his government’s planned austerity cuts that have been implemented during the current Parliament. Cameron said four-fifths of the process was complete, while the Institute for Fiscal Studies said more than half were still to come into force.

Now this.

Never mind Fiona Woolf’s resignation – isn’t it time we demanded Cameron’s?

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11 thoughts on “Two down: Woolf resigns from sex abuse inquiry

  1. Alan M Dransfield

    So the bitch resigns and walks away, so everything in the garden is OK. I say haul her back before a Judge and find out more of her lies because that’s the reason why she quit. She NOW claims the victims didn’t have enough confidence in her and that’s the main reason for her resignation. Bulls**t – if that was the case, there would be NO government and NO opposition.
    If the next Chairperson is a fraud, Theresa May MUST quit.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      On the subject of dodgy statements made by Mrs Woolf, it is true that she enlisted Home Office help to draft a letter on the subject of her suitability – no less than seven times.

  2. Mr.Angry

    Mike the more bombshells that are bursting around him every day, the better. The deceit, lies and propaganda are becoming more obvious to the electorate by the day, which is a good thing. I am sure Tory voters are eventually questioning, “WHY did I ever vote for him”, we have never been worse off and stand helpless whilst this corrupt shower divides the country into the have’s and have not’s.

    I strongly suggest you have a read of today’s an article “Film claims Government corruption behind sell-off on the NHS”

    It is frightening and we are all being hoodwinked and the media gagged.

  3. philipburdekin

    It’s an absolute disgrace, that’s what it is, and the police need to be investigating this because the TORY led government cannot be trusted to tell the truth, children’s lives have been destroyed and someone should hang, DEFINITELY more.

  4. Guy Ropes

    Professor Alexis JAY, who prepared the Rotherham report, would seem to be the ideal and oh-so-obvious choice. The fact that she appears to be so efficient and non-establishment would probably (in Ms May’s eyes) preclude her appointment. Why haven’t the victims and their advisers put her name forward? Has she been blackballed already?

  5. jaypot2012

    I wholeheartedly agree that it should be Cameron’s resignation that should be demanded – he is a total fool and has made himself look so time after time.
    As for a chairperson of the “so called” inquiry, I don’t believe it should be a member of any political party, but a person who is trusted by the majority of people who are involved, as well as the public.
    That will never be from any political party as they are all out for themselves and their images for not only themselves, but the party they belong to.
    How to find an independent person who will be fair and honest and is not a donor to any party is going to be hard, but there are plenty of people out there if they look hard enough.

  6. amnesiaclinic

    It seems everything comes up against Leon Brittan. Until his role is fully investigated this is going nowhere, and as you say, stalling for time until it’s lost in the general election run up.

    She is Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mike. Quite a difference.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I was using the BBC’s wording of what she is; I did consider adding a bit to say that this didn’t mean she was Boris Johnson but thought that might be like the Daily Mail saying ‘the cloud’ in which people store data is “not an actual cloud”.

  7. Jonathan Wilson

    I’m beginning to think this is just a kicking the can exercise, appoint someone who has “connections” wait for the inevitable backlash and resignation, repeat and rinse and then quietly drop the whole thing…. or at least delay it enough so that if it does ever start it will be after the elections before the proverbial hits the fan.

  8. Stephen Tamblin

    The Torys are stalling for time anyone can see like others have said Theresa May should have been sacked a long time ago. This government has been living a lie since they have been in power there is no way our economy is doing better a lot of their numbers come from slave labour like apprenticeships a lot lower than the minimum wage there are youngsters in cornwall earning £2.50 an hour more banks closing 7,000 jobs lost there they’re telling you and me the economy is recovering what a load of bulls**t

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