Dave Higgens/PA Wire

Abuse inquiry into Church 'to be scaled back'

Sat 15 Oct 2016
By Alex Williams

The national inquiry into how the Church of England, the Church in Wales and other bodies dealt with the sexual abuse of children is going to be scaled back, it has been reported.

The results of a review by chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay into the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) is expected to prompt a cut in the number of public evidence hearings next week.

One inquiry insider told The Times: "We need to make this inquiry manageable and deliverable within a reasonable timescale and without excessive costs."

Professor Jay, who previously led an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham, became the IICSA's fourth chairwoman in August, following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard.

The probe attracted more controversy in September when it's senior lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, and a junior colleague, Elizabeth Prochaska, both stood down.

Dame Lowell was earlier this week forced to deny claims in The Times that she had used racist language during her time as chairwoman, and she branded the accusations "falsities" and "malicious".

The inquiry has already seen millions of pages of evidence submitted, costs reach £20 million and 167 staff employed, yet it has not heard any evidence.

It is investigating a wide number of institutions, including local authorities, police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the BBC, the armed forces, hospitals and children's homes.

Described at the most ambitious public inquiry ever in England and Wales, it was originally meant to run for five years, however, there has been speculation it take a decade to complete.

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