(not satire – it’s the UK today)
Survivors of institutional child abuse have written an extraordinary letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May telling her the government’s official inquiry is “not fit for purpose” and they will no longer cooperate with it.
In the unprecedented letter, child abuse survivors and professionals accuse Theresa May’s Home Office of “obfuscation“, “lack of transparency” and “manipulations“:
Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
Dear Theresa May
As survivors and associated professionals, we were very much hoping to take up the invitations to engage with your Ministerial Officers to discuss the Child Sex Abuse Inquiry but we regret to say we have to decline. We, alongside many survivors, have made numerous representations to you regarding our view that the Inquiry as it stands is not fit for purpose. Its Terms of Reference (ToR) are inadequate for delivering the original declared intentions of the inquiry, namely to investigate government and establishment cover ups of paedophiles in their ranks and aiding bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Secondly, both your appointees to Head the Inquiry Panel have had to be forced out by survivors because of obvious conflicts of interest, and you have failed to address similar issues regarding other Panel appointees.
Thirdly, that the cut-off date for the Inquiry investigations was set at 1970 is highly disturbing given that the 1969 Children’s Act transferred Home Office run youth establishments, from which thousands of abuse allegations eventually emerged. It highlights the lack of transparency regarding the Home Office’s dealings with the Inquiry, not to mention the apparent obfuscations and manipulations in the defence of the appointment of Fiona Woolf. As a result, the Home Office seems to be running the Inquiry to meet others’ needs rather than those of survivors and the public.
We therefore have little option but to end engagement with the Inquiry and call on other survivors, whistleblowers, associated professionals and agencies to follow suit until, as Home Secretary, you:
• announce the scrapping of the current panel and its replacement on a transparent basis
• declare a statutory inquiry
• announce that the TOR will focus on: 1) Organised & Institutional Abuse – hearing evidence from survivors of such abuse 2) Extending the cut-off date to 1945 and linking with Inquiries in other parts of the UK 3) Setting up a dedicated police team at the National Crime Agency to take evidence alongside the inquiry to investigate and prosecute offenders 4) Holding those that have failed in their professional duty or covered up allegations or been obstructive to account.
Andy Kershaw and Tony Martin (Survivors of Forde Park)
Bobby Martin, Gang Intervention Advisor & Islington Care Home Survivor
Luke Payne, Child Trafficking Survivor.
Nigel O’Mara, Former Survivors’ Helpline Counsellor/ Public Relations Officer
Caroline Carnot, Author & Founding Executive Care Leavers Association
Peter McKelvie, Whistleblower and former child protection worker
Dr Liz Davies, Reader in Child Protection, London Metropolitan University
Ruth Stark MBE, President International Federation of Social Workers
Ann Davis, Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, University of Birmingham
Phil Frampton (Founding Chair, Care Leavers Association 2000-04)
Stephen Morris, Church of England Children’s Society Careleaver
Brian Douieb, Former Leaving Care Social Work Manager
Les Huckfield MP for Nuneaton 1967-83. MEP for Merseyside East 1984-89
Dr Kenneth McIntyre, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Dr Paul Redgrave, Director of Public Health, Barnsley 2004-09
Ed Nixon, Chief Executive, Family Care Associates
Anne Southworth, Senior National Education Specialist (Audit Commission) – Retired
Dr Rachel Chapple, Social Anthropologist, Founder, Real Stories Gallery Foundation
Councillor Ann Kerrigan
Ann Mallaby, Justice Campaigner
Andrea Enisuoh, Community Organiser, Hackney Unites
Miriam Day, Writer and survivor of childhood sexual abuse
Robert Chewter, Campaigner
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