Victory for abuse victims as Theresa May FINALLY launches VIP paedophile inquiry
Theresa May has finally been shamed into launching her long-awaited historical child sex abuse inquiry this week.
The Home Secretary’s decision to get cracking at last is a victory for the Sunday People.
Our May-o-meter now stands at 210 days without progress since she announced the probe.
And Mrs May was also hammered by last Sunday’s appeal by abuse survivor “Becky” – by yesterday her change.org petition had received nearly 29,000 signatures from people urging the Home Secretary to get a move on.
Becky demanded: “Start the inquiry you promised to abuse survivors without further delay.”
Campaigners fear those involved in an alleged paedophile ring cover-up might take their secrets to their graves before they can ever give evidence.
Those fears were stoked by the death last month of former Home Secretary Leon Brittan from cancer.
May-o-meter: Days since Theresa May announced her abuse inquiry
Mrs May will now name another of the 100 candidates to chair the inquiry after two previous nominees quit.
On July 7 last year Mrs May announced an independent inquiry to investigate public bodies’ handling of child sex abuse claims, a probe chaired by Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.
But the retired judge had to stand down because her late brother Sir Michael Havers was Attorney General in the 1980s. He was allegedly involved in sex parties with rent boys.
Replacement nominee Fiona Woolf also quit over dinners she had with Lord Brittan between 2008-2012.
Mrs May also looked overseas for a chair. But a source close to the inquiry said: “She has struggled to convince a foreigner of sufficient quality to move here.”
The survivors were keen on human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC but he is not immediately available.
Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England Sue Berelowitz is a frontrunner, along with Supreme Court judge Baroness Hale, and Dame Heather Hallett, who was the coroner at the 7/7 bombings inquest.
She told the Sunday People: “Theresa May said she would announce a new chair by the end of January. That didn’t happen. She is unfit to play any part in this at all. She has let us all down.”
Labour MP John Mann insisted the inquiry should have a two-year time limit to avoid the issue being sidelined and said the chair must be authorised to demand classified documents.
He added: “There will be turmoil if the person she chooses cannot do that.”
Mrs May promised: “Where possible the Government will adopt a presumption ofmaximum transparency.”