Thursday, August 11, 2016

Professor Alexis Jay to take on historic child abuse inquiry

Professor Alexis Jay, whose report laid bare the disastrous failure to protect vulnerable children from sexual abuse in Rotherham, has accepted the job of Chairing the inquiry into historic child sexual abuse.

My colleagues in BT often refer to someone taking on a very challenging role as a "hospital pass" and this job is about as challenging as it gets but if anyone can do the job it is Professor Jay. As long as she doesn't turn out to have lived within half a mile of anyone who the media might decide she can't afford to have any links to, this looks on the face of it like an inspired choice by Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary.

Professor Jay promised to “fearlessly examine institutional failures, past and present” as she took up the role following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard

Her Rotherham inquiry is part of has thirty years' experience of child protection work in both local government and as academic roles.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said: “The Independent Inquiry has a vital role to play in exposing the failure of public bodies and other major organisations to prevent systematic child sexual abuse.

 “I’m delighted Professor Alexis Jay has agreed to chair the Inquiry. She has a strong track record in uncovering the truth and I have no doubt she will run this independent Inquiry with vigour, compassion and courage.

“Let there be no doubt; our commitment to this Inquiry is undiminished. We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past.”

Gabrielle Shaw, CEO of NAPAC said: "We’re delighted that a new Chair has been chosen so quickly, so that IICSA’s vital work can continue smoothly.

 "Alexis Jay is likely to be a popular choice with many survivors, as she has done such good work on Rotherham and as part of the inquiry panel."

More details here.

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