THE child protection expert who exposed historical sex abuse in Rotherham has been announced as the new head of the national CSE inquiry.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd today announced that Prof Alexis Jay will lead the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
A child protection expert with over 30 years’ experience, Prof Jay led the inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham which found that at least 1,400 children were sexually abused between 1997 and 2013.
Prof Jay takes over the role from Dame Lowell Goddard who quit last Thursday after 16 months in charge.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion gave her backing to Prof Jay last week online and this week told the Advertiser Jay, or Louise Casey, who headed the investigation into RMBC failings, were both ideal candidates.
The IICSA is examining claims made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces, public and private institutions and people in the public eye and is expected to take five years to complete.
Prof Alexis Jay was already acting as an IICSA panel adviser.
Ms Champion said she believed the IICSA inquiry was not looking into abuse in Rotherham.
Home secretary Amber Rudd said today: “The independent inquiry has a vital role to play in exposing the failure of public bodies and other major organisations to prevent systematic child sexual abuse.
“I’m delighted Prof Alexis Jay has agreed to chair the inquiry.
“She has a strong track record in uncovering the truth and I have no doubt she will run this independent inquiry with vigour, compassion and courage.
“Let there be no doubt, our commitment to this inquiry is undiminished.
“We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Prof Jay 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.
“Be in no doubt – the inquiry is open for business and people are busier than ever working hard to increase momentum.
“The panel and I are determined to make progress on all parts of the inquiry’s work, including speaking to victims and survivors.
“I am determined to overcome the challenges along the way.
“I will lead the largest public inquiry of its kind and together with my fellow panel members we will fearlessly examine institutional failures, past and present and make recommendations so that the children of England and Wales are better protected now and in the future.”