Fiona Woolf could face second grilling from MPs over links to Leon Brittan

Members of Home Affairs Select Committee may recall woman appointed to head-up the Government’s historic child abuse inquiry, The Telegraph has learnt

Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London and former president of the Law Society, has insisted she is “not a member of the establishment”.

Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London and former president of the Law Society, has insisted she is “not a member of the establishment”. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Fiona Woolf could be ordered to face a second grilling by MPs over her suitability to lead the Government’s historic child abuse inquiry, The Telegraph has learnt.
Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee are considering recalling Ms Woolf after new evidence emerged about her links to Lord (Leon) Brittan, the former Home Secretary previously criticised for failing to act over the scandal.
Ms Woolf was under fresh pressure to resign yesterday amid reports she failed to declare a meeting with Lord Brittan in an extensive account of social engagements with the peer published last week.
Documents reveal the Lord Mayor hosted a drinks reception attended by Lord Brittan which was not mentioned in her letter to the Home Office, the Mail on Sunday claimed.
The peer was reportedly among a handful of City of London dignitaries invited to meet the French Prime Minister in 2011. The paper said Ms Woolf declined to comment about the claims.
Ms Woolf has previously revealed she lives on the same street as Lord Brittan and attended five dinners parties with the Tory grandee and his wife.
It has been claimed Lord Brittan was handed a file – now missing – in late 1983 which allegedly detailed child abuse at the highest levels of Westminster.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said he had written to Ms Woolf and would consider recalling her for questioning if she fails to explain why the alleged meeting did not make her official account.
“There is no question that the committee will want to look carefully at the answers she’s given and want to know further about her meeting,” the Labour MP told this newspaper.
“If they are not satisfied then the committee will of course recall her but we need to give her the benefit of the doubt to see what she says to the questions we put to her.”
Mr Vaz was also critical of Theresa May’s handling of the appointment, questioning why Ms Woolf was not quizzed about her links to Lord Brittan before getting the job.
“I think the whole scenario has been badly handled by the Home Office. This is not the Home Secretary’s finest hour,” Mr Vaz said.
“All this stuff about links should have happened before her appointment on the fifth of September, not now. This is unseemly – we should be focusing on the victims.”
Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, said: “Victims must have confidence in this inquiry. Woolf has to stand down.”

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