A victim of the North Wales child abuse scandal says the new chair of a historic sex probe must be free of the establishment connections that forced two predecessors to stand down.
Tony Gregory, 52, from Wrexham,made the call after Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf stood down following claims she tried to play down her social links with former Tory home secretary Lord Brittan.
Former cabinet minister Lord Brittan has been accused of failing to act on a dossier of paedophilia allegations he received while in office in the 1980s. Lord Brittan denies the allegation.
Mr Gregory, who says he suffered physical abuse in notorious Wrexham care home Bryn Estyn between 1977 and 1978, said: “They (the new chair) need to be impartial and not connected.
“They should check from the start they’ve got no connections that will bite them on the bum. The only way you’re going to get someone who is impartial is someone who is not a Tory or connected with judges or solicitors or MPs.”
Documents published last week showed a letter setting out Mrs Woolf’s contacts with Lord Brittan and his wife was redrafted seven times, with guidance from Home Office officials, before being sent to Home Secretary Theresa May.
In her letter to the Home Secretary, Mrs Woolf said she had lived in the same street as the Brittans since 2004.
As well as inviting them to dinner at her house three times, she has dined at theirs twice, met Lady Brittan for coffee, sat on a prize-giving panel with her, and sponsored her £50 for a fun run.
Mrs Woolf told the BBC it had been clear to her for some time that she did not have the confidence of the victims and it was time for her to “get out of the way”.
She had told Mrs May she had no “social contact” with Lord and Lady Brittan since April 23 last year. But a photograph surfaced showing her chatting to Lady Brittan at a prize-giving last October.
Baroness Butler-Slossalso stood down from the probe earlier this year amid allegations of conflicts of interest.
Mr Gregory, who has suffered with depression throughout his life after his childhood trauma, has little faith the UK Government will opt for a chair who has the confidence of victims.
He believes they will instead choose someone they can rely on to gloss over the issue and absolve the powerful of responsibility.
Mr Gregory, whose brother Keith, a Wrexham councillor, has said he was also abused during his time in the care system in the early 1970s, added: “They will do it again. I should imagine the next one they pick will be in exactly the same sort of position as the last two were.”
The Gregory brothers have suggested the abuse they experienced went much wider than the Waterhouse Inquiry, which published its report Lost in Care in 2000, found.
In line with its remit, this £13m inquiry focused on abuse in care homes in the former North Wales counties of Clwyd and Gwynedd.
The report dealt with more than 650 cases of child abuse in 40 care homes over a 20-year period.
Earlier in the week, Alison Millar, head of the abuse team at Leigh Day solicitors which represents victims of historic sex abuse, said a “proper inquiry” could now begin following Mrs Woolf’s resignation.
She also said its terms of reference must be based on the needs of survivors and cover the scale of abuse across the UK.