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Abuse victims threaten to withdraw from new inquiry

By Tim Moynihan

A number of alleged victims of child sexual abuse have said they will withdraw from the inquiry into the issue unless the Government makes major changes to it.

The inquiry as it stands is not fit for purpose, they said in an open letter to Home Secretary Theresa May.

They said: "As survivors and associated professionals, we were very much hoping to take up the invitations to engage with your ministerial officers to discuss the child sex abuse inquiry but we regret to say we have to decline.

"We, alongside many survivors, have made numerous representations to you regarding our view that the inquiry as it stands is not fit for purpose.

"Its terms of reference are inadequate for delivering the original declared intentions of the inquiry, namely to investigate government and establishment cover-ups of paedophiles in their ranks and aiding bringing the perpetrators to justice.

"Secondly, both your appointees to head the inquiry panel have had to be forced out by survivors because of obvious conflicts of interest, and you have failed to address similar issues regarding other panel appointees.

The 24 signatories said they had little option but to end engagement with the inquiry until Mrs May scrapped the current panel.

The inquiry has been bedevilled with problems, mainly around finding a chairman, since it was announced in July.

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