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Third judge quits inquiry into sex abuse of children

By Helen William

Published 05/08/2016

Struggle: Dame Lowell Goddard
Struggle: Dame Lowell Goddard

Dame Lowell Goddard has quit as head of Britain's troubled independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, saying the troubled investigation has struggled to shake off its "legacy of failure".

The New Zealand high court judge - who was appointed to the role in April 2015 - is now the inquiry's third chairwoman to have resigned.

The inquiry has been beset by setbacks since it was set up in 2014 amid claims of an establishment cover-up following allegations a paedophile ring operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

In a statement, Dame Lowell (67), said: "The conduct of any public inquiry is not an easy task, let alone one of the magnitude of this.

"Compounding the many difficulties was its legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off and, with hindsight, it would have been better to have started completely afresh.

"While it has been a struggle in many respects, I am confident there have been achievements and some very real gains for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in getting their voices heard.

"I have nothing but the greatest of respect for the victims and survivors, and have particularly enjoyed working with the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel which I established."

Dame Lowell said her resignation was "with immediate effect".

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