Head of child sex abuse inquiry expected to give update on review into probe


The head of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse is expected to provide an update on an internal review into its work.

Professor Alexis Jay, the probe's fourth chairwoman, ordered a review of its approach to its investigations on her second day in the role in August.

She has insisted that the inquiry would not be scaled back - after the former chair Dame Lowell Goddard claimed there was an "inherent problem" in its "sheer scale and size".

Described as the most ambitious public inquiry ever in England and Wales, it was earmarked to take five years, but there have been suggestions it could run for as long as a decade at a cost of up to £100 million.

It has been dogged by controversy since it was set up by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2014, and Professor Jay's update comes following a hugely turbulent period.

Last week it emerged that Dame Lowell, a New Zealand high court judge, resigned days after the Home Office was made aware of concerns about her "professionalism and competence".

Dame Lowell has strenuously denied allegations against her, including that she used racist language, describing them as "falsities", "malicious" and part of a "vicious campaign".

The Times reported a number of claims by what it said were "well-placed figures" at the inquiry's headquarters about her alleged conduct. Dame Lowell said she had consulted lawyers in London about the allegations.

She added: "I confirm my absolute rejection of this attack. I am confident that in New Zealand my known reputation from my work over many years will provide its own refutation of these falsities."

MPs will grill the Home Office's top civil servant Mark Sedwill on Tuesday. Home Secretary Amber Rudd and her predecessor Theresa May have been urged to reveal how much they knew. 

Labour has called on Mrs May and Ms Rudd to provide assurances that there was no cover up.

Professor Jay is also due to appear before the Commons Home Affairs committee on Tuesday.