Sex abuse inquiry will start without chairman

Home Secretary expected to face tough questioning from MPs

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Indy Politics

The Government’s beleaguered inquiry into historical child sex abuse will begin its work before a replacement chairman is found, William Hague revealed on Sunday.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is expected to face tough questioning on Monday from MPs on how the Home Office allowed Fiona Woolf to be appointed chair of the committee in the first place.

Ms Woolf resigned on Friday following pressure from victims groups who were unhappy at her links to the former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, whose conduct is expected to come under scrutiny during the inquiry. He faces claims that he failed to act on a dossier containing allegations of paedophile activity in the 1980s. Mr Hague told the BBC: “The panel will be able to go on.”

It has emerged that the Home Office may have been struggling to find a candidate before Mrs Woolf was appointed. The Sunday Times reported that the barrister Baroness Kennedy and Lady Justice Hallett vice-president of the criminal division of the Court of Appeal were approached but declined.