Survivors' group may pull out of troubled child sexual abuse inquiry


A survivors' group has said it may pull out of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse because it does not believe it is "truly independent".

The probe, launched two years ago and described as the most ambitious public inquiry ever in England and Wales, has been beset by problems and is now working under its fourth chairwoman.

Raymond Stevenson, from the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, told BBC Newsnight the inquiry had failed to meet group members when asked to in recent weeks.

Mr Stevens, representing survivors of the Lambeth-run Shirley Oaks home in Croydon, said: "We have to recommend at this moment in time that we pull out. We have given the inquiry an opportunity to meet us. We contacted them two weeks ago and we are still waiting for a meeting."

He cited concerns about the involvement of the Home Office in the inquiry.

"Some of our members have been through investigations before which had Home Office members and staff part of it so we have been through that," he said.

"This is about the third investigation Lambeth has been through so what we wanted from this was for it to be truly independent. We were sold a theory it would be truly independent."

Earlier this week the inquiry's most recent ex-chairwoman Dame Lowell Goddard called for a complete review, claiming the probe's budget does not match its "sheer scale and size".