Professor Alexis Jay appointed new chair of child abuse inquiry
Child protection expect Professor Alexis Jay has been confirmed as the latest chair of the child sex abuse inquiry.
Professor Jay was appointed to the Panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2015. She was appointed as Chair of the Inquiry by the Home Secretary in August 2016 (iicsa.org.uk).
The Professor (pictured) becomes the fourth chair of the independent inquiry following the departure earlier this month of Dame Lowell Goddard – and the first without a legal professional qualification.
The first choice of chair, Baroness Butler-Sloss, resigned after a week, while her replacement, Dame Fiona Woolf, also left the post after a short period in October 2014.
Dame Lowell Patria Goddard, (born 25 November 1948) is a New Zealand judge. In February 2015, she was appointed to head the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales. On 4 August 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that Goddard had resigned from the Inquiry; no explanation was given.
Set up after investigations in 2012 and 2013 into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal revealed widespread abuse, including claims of abuse stretching back over decades by prominent media and political figures, and inadequate safeguarding by institutions and organisations responsible for child welfare.
Legal sources say there was widespread dismay among IICSA’s staff and advisers that Dame Lowell seemed unable to get to grips with the colossal amount of material the inquiry was generating, which left her ‘overwhelmed and drowning’, while handicapped by her ‘blurry’ knowledge of English law.