Dear Theresa May
Re the proposed government inquiry into organised child abuse
As Butler-Sloss stated, the proposed government inquiry into organised child abuse needs to have the confidence of care and abuse survivors. It is for this reason that the view of many survivors and leading specialists in the area of child protection is that the most suitable candidate to chair the announced ‘Child Abuse Inquiry’ is Michael Mansfield QC.
The chair of this inquiry will need fearlessness, to be prepared to challenge the authorities and to ask and get answers to very difficult questions. This is a role that can only be undertaken by someone clearly seen as outside the establishment.
Mr Mansfield has shown with his work on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and the current Hillsborough inquiry that he has the respect of survivors and professionals to undertake this inquiry.
In addition to the need to have the correct chair – it is very disappointing that the proposed Terms of Reference (TOR), as set out by the Home Secretary, will, unless revised, render the Child Abuse Inquiry that she has announced almost worthless.
The Home Secretary has proposed an inquiry that will pull together previous reviews to produce a ‘Lessons learnt’ report – taking no evidence from individual victims.
This needs to be urgently reviewed and the TOR for this Inquiry must focus on the following three elements: 1) To hear evidence from survivors of organised abuse, which would finally give them a voice and allow them to be heard and believed 2) Set up a dedicated police team at the National Crime Agency to take evidence alongside the inquiry to investigate and prosecute offenders 3) Hold those that have failed in their professional duty or covered up allegations or been obstructive to be held to account.
Having Mr Mansfield and revised Terms of Reference is the only way to secure justice for survivors and protection of our children.
Peter Saunders, CEO NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood)
Nze K.D. Akabusi MBE, QMSI ret , Executive Director The Akabusi Company
David Akinsanya, TV Producer
Mark Williams Thomas, TV Presenter, Criminologist & Child Protection Expert
Phil Frampton, Founding Chair, Care Leavers Association
Ann Davis, Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, University of Birmingham
Dr Liz Davies, Reader in Child Protection, London Metropolitan University
John Cooper QC
Roger Kline, Research Fellow, Middlesex University Business School
Les Huckfield MP for Nuneaton 1967-83. MEP for Merseyside East 1984-89
John Hemming MP
Paul Gosling, Author: Abuse of Trust
Tracey Emmott, Director (Solicitor) Emmott Snell Solicitors
Dr Sarah Nelson, Child Abuse Researcher and Campaigner
Dr Philippa White, Director, Tuart Place
Caroline Carnot, Author & Founding Executive Care Leavers Association
Bobby Martin: Community & Gang Intervention Advisor
Will McMahon Deputy Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
Anne Peake, CPsychol., FBPsS
Dr Kenneth McIntyre, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Chris Walker, Educational Psychologist PSI-UK
Dr Paul Redgrave, Director of Public Health, Barnsley 2004-09
Dr Valerie Sinason, Clinic for Dissociative Studies
Glenys Ingham, Headteacher
Di Roome, Retired Headteacher
Ken Jones, Education Leadership Consultant
Ed Nixon, Chief Executive, Family Care Associates
Brian Douieb, Former Leaving Care Social Work Manager
IMPORTANT: Please contact Theresa May if you want Michael Mansfield QC to chair the inquiry.
There is also a petition here