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Theresa May 'sorry' over abuse inquiry exits

By Gavin Cordon

Theresa May has apologised following the resignation last week of the second chairwoman of the inquiry into historical allegations of child sex abuse.

The Home Secretary said the first meeting of the panel would be held next Wednesday but told MPs it was "very disappointing" the probe still does not have someone in the top job four months after being created.

In a Commons statement following the dramatic resignation on Friday of Fiona Woolf, Mrs May told MPs that a report by NSPCC chief Peter Wanless, into the way the Home Office dealt with an investigation into child abuse allegations between 1979 and 1999, will be published next week.

She said: "Almost four months after I announced my intention to establish a panel inquiry it is obviously very disappointing that we do not yet have a panel chairman and for that I want to tell survivors that I am sorry."

Mrs Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London, admitted on Friday that she had lost the confidence of abuse victims following disclosures about her links to the former home secretary, Lord Brittan, who is expected to come under scrutiny by the inquiry over claims he failed to act on a dossier of allegations of alleged paedophile activity at Westminster in the 1980s.

Her resignation followed the decision by Baroness Butler-Sloss to stand down in July amid questions over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the 1980s.

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