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Professor Alexis Jay named as new chair of child sex abuse inquiry

By Hayden Smyth

Professor Alexis Jay, a former senior social worker, has been named as the fourth chairwoman of the embattled independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

The child protection expert has insisted that the probe is "open for business" after she was appointed following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard last week.

Prof Jay previously led an inquiry that revealed at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

She 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 clarity. The panel and I are determined to make progress on all parts of the inquiry's work, including speaking to victims and survivors."

Prof Jay, who will take over as head of the inquiry having already served as a member of a panel established to assist the chair, said she was "determined to overcome the challenges along the way".

She added: "I will lead the largest public inquiry of its kind and together with my fellow panel members we will fearlessly examine institutional failures and make recommendations so that the children of England and Wales are better protected now and in the future."

Prof Jay came to prominence in 2014 when her report sparked national outrage. Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee, said: "Professor Jay is clearly a suitable candidate with vast experience and has been commended for her inquiry in Rotherham. I hope it will be fourth time lucky, as we must not let the victims and survivors down."

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