Child abuse inquiry loses third chairperson as Dame Lowell Goddard stands down

Home secretary Amber Rudd says she intends to appoint a new chair for the troubled inquiry “as soon as possible"

By Josh May

05 Aug 2016

Dame Lowell Goddard has resigned as the chair of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

The New Zealand judge was appointed by Theresa May last year after her first two picks for the job had to stand down.

Her resignation letter to home secretary Amber Rudd shed no light on the reasons behind her decision, but it came on the back of a report in The Times newspaper highlighting the amount of time she had spent outside the UK since taking up her post.

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Rudd said she intended to appoint a new chair for the inquiry “as soon as possible”.

A statement from the home secretary read: “I can confirm that Dame Lowell Goddard wrote to me today to offer her resignation as chair of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse and I have accepted.

“I want to assure everyone with an interest in the inquiry, particularly victims and survivors, that the work of the inquiry will continue without delay and a new chair will be appointed.

“I would like to thank Dame Lowell Goddard for the contribution she has made in setting up the inquiry so that it may continue to go about its vital work.”

Dame Lowell’s short letter read: “I regret to advise that I am offering you my resignation as chair of the independent inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, with immediate effect. I trust you will accept this decision.”

The Times this morning reported that Dame Lowell had spent 44 working days in New Zealand and Australia on inquiry business since being appointed, in addition to her allocation of 30 days annual leave. Dame Lowell was appointed in April last year after the first two nominees for the job, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Baroness Woolf, quit.

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