Home Secretary names new head of £100m child sex abuse probe after three previous appointments all failed 

  • Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced Prof Jay will lead inquiry
  • Ms Jay wrote the key report into child sex abuse in Rotherham in 2014
  • Takes over from judge Lowell Goddard who dramatically quit last week
  • Ms Rudd and Ms Jay stress commitment to pressing ahead with inquiry  
Professor Alexis Jay has been appointed to head up the troubled inquiry into child sex abuse, it was announced today.
Secretary Amber Rudd said Ms Jay, who wrote a key report into abuse in
Rotherham in 2014, would be promoted from the inquiry’s advisory panel
to take over from New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard. 
move is intended to ensure some sort of continuity in the massive £100
million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), after 
Dame Lowell dramatically resigned as chairwoman last week with no warning.
Jay becomes the fourth woman to take the helm at the beleaguered probe
which has been running in various guises for two years but has so far
heard almost no evidence despite racking up huge bills.
Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz today warned it must be ‘fourth
time lucky’ for the vast inquiry, which has already cost taxpayers
£18million and is due to draw together a staggering 13 different probes.
The task was branded ‘unmanageable’ by former DPP Lord Macdonald last week.

Professor Alexis Jay wrote a key report into child sex abuse in Rotherham in 2014
life-long social worker is expected to be paid less than Dame Lowell,
who was handed a package worth £500,000 including relocation from New
Zealand and a £360,000 annual salary, when the terms of her appointment
are finalised.
Sources claimed Dame
Lowell, appointed by then-Home Secretary Theresa May just over a year
ago, had lost the confidence of senior staff and members of the inquiry
Her resignation letter was immediately accepted by Mrs Rudd, who succeeded Mrs May in the Home Office last month. 
Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf both stepped down from the role last
year after concerns about their links to the establishment. 
Ms Jay’s 2014 inquiry revealed that at least 1,400 children had been subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham.


Professor Alexis Jay has spent decades in social work.
She became Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government in April 2011. 
But Ms Jay came to wider attention in 2014 when she penned a shocking report into child exploitation in Rotherham.
It found 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual abuse in the area between 1997 and 2013.
Girls as young as 11 were raped, abducted, beaten and intimidated – predominantly by men of Pakistani heritage.
Jay slammed ‘blatant’ collective failures by the local council, and
heavily criticised South Yorkshire Police for not prioritising the
The report prompted a raft of resignations and further inquiries. 
is visiting professor at Strathclyde University, where she chairs the
Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland.
Prof Jay worked for more than 30 years in local government, most recently as a director of social services.
Rudd said: ‘The Independent Inquiry has a vital role to play in
exposing the failure of public bodies and other major organisations to
prevent systematic child sexual abuse.
delighted Professor Alexis Jay has agreed to chair the Inquiry. She has
a strong track record in uncovering the truth and I have no doubt she
will run this independent Inquiry with vigour, compassion and courage.
‘Let there be no doubt; our commitment to this Inquiry is undiminished.
owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of
how children were let down by the very people who were charged to
protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past.’
Jay said: ‘I am committed to ensuring this Inquiry does everything it
has set out to do and does so with pace, with confidence and with
‘Be in no doubt – the Inquiry is open for business and people are busier than ever working hard to increase momentum.
panel and I are determined to make progress on all parts of the
Inquiry’s work, including speaking to victims and survivors.
‘I am determined to overcome the challenges along the way.
will lead the largest public inquiry of its kind and together with my
fellow panel members we will fearlessly examine institutional failures,
past and present and make recommendations so that the children of
England and Wales are better protected now and in the future.’
New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard dramatically resigned as chair of the troubled inquiry into child sex abuse last week 

New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard dramatically resigned as chair of the troubled inquiry into child sex abuse last week 

Shadow minister for preventing abuse Sarah Champion said: ‘We now need to see results from the inquiry.
have had the courage to come forwards and share their stories, often
for the first time, these now need to be acted on.


July 7, 2014
– Theresa May, then home secretary, announces a public inquiry with the
remit of investigating whether ‘state and non-state institutions’ have
taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse
within England and Wales. Its chairwoman will be Baroness Butler-Sloss,
a retired High Court judge.
July 9
Baroness Butler-Sloss faces calls to quit due to a potential conflict
of interest over a family connection. Her late brother, Sir Michael
Havers, was attorney general in the 1980s. Then prime minister David
Cameron stands by the appointment.
July 14 – Baroness Butler-Sloss steps down.
September 5
– Dame Fiona Woolf, a leading tax lawyer and then Lord Mayor of the
City of London, is appointed as the new chairwoman of the inquiry.
October 22
– Child sex abuse victim launches a legal challenge against Dame
Fiona’s appointment over her suitability for the role. She is accused of
having ‘close association’ with Lord Leon Brittan, the late Labour peer
against whom allegations of sex abuse were later dropped.
October 31 – Dame Fiona quits as chairwoman.
February 4, 2015
– Mrs May tells the House of Commons she is disbanding the former
inquiry into child sex abuse and setting up a new statutory inquiry.
Dame Lowell Goddard – described as ‘one of the most respected and
experienced judges in the Commonwealth’ – is announced as its
March 12 – New inquiry is set up with same remit as first.
April 29
– Dame Lowell announces the inquiry will conduct a full investigation
into the issues surrounding the allegations of sexual abuse against Lord
Greville Janner, citing ‘clear public interest’ over the adequacy of
institutional responses to allegations against public figures.
July 9 – Dame Lowell officially opens the inquiry.
October 16
Former child protection manager Peter McKelvie resigns from the
inquiry’s Victims’ and Survivors Consultative Panel as it is revealed
that he may face questioning over his own handling of pursuing
allegations of child sex abuse.
November 27
Inquiry announces its first 12 investigations and Dame Lowell says she
is committed to completing the in inquiry in five years. 
December 19 – Lord Janner dies aged 87.
March 9, 2016 – Inquiry holds first hearing on the investigation into allegations against Lord Janner.
August 4 – Dame Lowell writes to Home Secretary Amber Rudd to offer her resignation citing her career and family life.
Jay needs to swiftly bring about investigations and changes in practice
so that more is done to prevent these horrific crimes.
inquiry has already faced a number of obstacles but we should never
lose sight of those who are relying on it: abuse survivors and their
families, current victims and those at risk of child abuse today.’
Tory children’s minister Tim Loughton said: ‘Glad Home Secretary has
moved swiftly to appoint new child abuse inquiry chair – Alexis Jay did
good work in Rotherham and is highly respected.’
Scorer, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: ‘Alexis Jay
has a great track record of investigating abuse and is determined to
get to the truth.’ 
Mr Vaz this
afternoon welcomed Ms Jay to the post, adding she was ‘clearly a
suitable candidate with vast experience in these matters’.
He said: ‘I hope it will be fourth time lucky as we must not let victims and survivors down.’ 
senior Labour MP warned he still expected a full explanation from Dame
Lowell for her sudden resignation and she has been invited to give
evidence to MPs on September 6. 
Collins, one of the UK’s leading experts in sexual abuse litigation
from Hugh James, a law firm which represents survivors of sexual abuse
who will be giving evidence to the inquiry, said: ‘Having led the
Rotherham abuse inquiry, Professor Jay has a deep appreciation for the
needs of survivors, and should put those needs right at the heart of the
inquiry’s purpose.
‘We represent a number of abuse survivors in the UK and overseas, some of whom will be giving evidence to this inquiry.
‘They will be relieved that there will be no interruptions to the work that has already been undertaken.’
and lawyers in the wide-ranging inquiry, which is already besieged by
setbacks, have accused Dame Lowell of acting in an ‘autocratic’ manner
towards staff.
One insider told The Sunday Times she was ‘difficult’ to work with and staff had to develop a ‘thick skin’.
Another told the paper: ‘Goddard’s treatment of the staff and of the panel of four assisting her has been autocratic.’
source also claimed Dame Lowell had a poor memory, which was ‘painfully
obvious’, while a senior QC added the former chair had become a
‘laughing stock’.
The son of Lord
Greville Janner revealed he had planned to take Dame Lowell to court,
having criticised the ‘disarray’ of the independent inquiry.
Janner QC, the son of the Labour peer who died amid allegations of
paedophilia, had sent an email detailing his plans just hours before
Dame Lowell left her post last Thursday. 
Goddard, who admitted after her appointment that she was unfamiliar
with British law, was selected by Mrs May in February last year.
a statement following her resignation, the judge said she had found the
job a ‘struggle’ and said she missed her ‘beloved family’ in New
the resignation last week, the Home Secretary said: ‘I can confirm that
Dame Lowell Goddard wrote to me today to offer her resignation as chair
of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse and I have accepted.
want to assure everyone with an interest in the inquiry, particularly
victims and survivors, that the work of the inquiry will continue
without delay and a new chair will be appointed.
would like to thank Dame Lowell Goddard for the contribution she has
made in setting up the inquiry so that it may continue to go about its
vital work.’ 
Goddard, who was appointed in April 2015, quit last week in the
briefest of resignation letters that was sent to Ms Rudd.
wrote: ‘I regret to advise that I am offering my resign as chair of the
independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, with immediate effect. I
trust you will accept this decision.’
Baroness Butler-Sloss

Dame Fiona Woolf

Butler-Sloss (left) and Dame Fiona Woolf (right) both stepped down from
the role as head of the child sex abuse inquiry after concerns about
their links to the establishment
the resignation, Ms Rudd replied: ‘I know that this will have been a
difficult decision for you to make, and something you will have
carefully considered.
‘I was sorry to receive your letter, but I accept your decision.’
Rudd described the inquiry as the ‘most ambitious public inquiry ever
established in England and Wales’ and praised Justice Goddard for her
know how personally committed you have been to ensuring that the
inquiry is a success for those at its heart: the survivors and the
victims,’ Ms Rudd wrote. 
have consistently demonstrated your desire to leave no stone unturned
in order that the voices of those victims might be heard.
is a testament to your commitment that you have taken the difficult
decision to stand down now, having set the inquiry firmly on course, and
allow someone else to lead it through to the end.
‘With regret, I agree that this the right decision.’
Home Secretary Amber Rudd today announced Ms Jay as the new inquiry chief promising she had a 'strong track record in uncovering the truth'

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today
announced Ms Jay as the new inquiry chief promising she had a ‘strong
track record in uncovering the truth’


The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is to carry out 13 separate investigations: 
Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster
– This will be an ‘overarching inquiry’ into allegations of abuse and
exploitation involving ‘people of public prominence associated with
Westminster’. It will examine high profile claims involving ‘current or
former’ MPs, senior civil servants and members of the intelligence and
security agencies.
The Roman Catholic Church 
This will look into the extent of any institutional failures to protect
children from abuse within the church in England and Wales.
The Anglican Church – This
investigation will look at the extent of any institutional failures to
protect children from abuse within the Anglican Church.
The internet
– The inquiry will look into institutional responses to child sexual
abuse and exploitation ‘facilitated’ by the internet. This will include
investigations of the policies of internet firms.
Residential schools – This will investigate abuse and exploitation of children in residential schools in both the state and independent sector.
Nottinghamshire councils – This
will look into the extent of any institutional failures to protect
children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire councils
following allegations of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation.
Lambeth Council – This
will examine the extent of any institutional failures to protect
children after allegations of abuse in children’s homes run by the
London authority.
Lord Janner – This
will look into allegations of child sex abuse against Lord Greville
Janner. The peer, who died aged 87 in December, is alleged to have
abused children over a period spanning more than 30 years.
Protection of children outside the UK – This
will scrutinise ‘grave allegations’ that have emerged regarding abuse
by individuals working for British institutions and organisations
Sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions
– This will examine the scale of abuse within the secure estate for
children and young people. The inquiry has identified Medomsley Youth
Detention Centre, County Durham, as the first case study.
Child sexual exploitation by organised networks – This
will focus on institutional responses to systematic grooming and sexual
abuse of children by groups of offenders as seen in cities including
Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford.
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale – An
inquiry into allegations of the sexual abuse and exploitation of
children residing at or attending Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel, Knowl
View School, and other institutions where their placement was arranged
or provided by Rochdale Borough Council.
Accountability and reparations for victims and survivors of abuse
– This arm of the inquiry will focus on the support services and legal
remedies available to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

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