An open letter to Theresa May calling for Michael Mansfield QC to chair the Child Abuse Inquiry

Dear Theresa May

Re the proposed government inquiry into organised child abuse

As Butler-Sloss stated, the proposed government inquiry into organised child abuse needs to have the confidence of care and abuse survivors. It is for this reason that the view of many survivors and leading specialists in the area of child protection is that the most suitable candidate to chair the announced ‘Child Abuse Inquiry’ is Michael Mansfield QC.

The chair of this inquiry will need fearlessness, to be prepared to challenge the authorities and to ask and get answers to very difficult questions. This is a role that can only be undertaken by someone clearly seen as outside the establishment.

Mr Mansfield has shown with his work on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and the current Hillsborough inquiry that he has the respect of survivors and professionals to undertake this inquiry.

In addition to the need to have the correct chair – it is very disappointing that the proposed Terms of Reference (TOR), as set out by the Home Secretary, will, unless revised, render the Child Abuse Inquiry that she has announced almost worthless.

The Home Secretary has proposed an inquiry that will pull together previous reviews to produce a ‘Lessons learnt’ report – taking no evidence from individual victims.

This needs to be urgently reviewed and the TOR for this Inquiry must focus on the following three elements: 1) To hear evidence from survivors of organised abuse, which would finally give them a voice and allow them to be heard and believed 2) Set up a dedicated police team at the National Crime Agency to take evidence alongside the inquiry to investigate and prosecute offenders 3) To hold those that have failed in their professional duty or covered up allegations or been obstructive to account.

Having Mr Mansfield and revised Terms of Reference is the only way to secure justice for survivors and protection of our children.

Yours faithfully

Peter Saunders, CEO NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood)

Nze K.D. Akabusi MBE, QMSI ret , Executive Director The Akabusi Company

David Akinsanya, TV Producer

Mark Williams Thomas, TV Presenter, Criminologist & Child Protection Expert

Phil Frampton, Founding Chair, Care Leavers Association

Ann Davis, Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, University of Birmingham

Dr Liz Davies, Reader in Child Protection, London Metropolitan University

John Cooper QC

Roger Kline, Research Fellow, Middlesex University Business School

Les Huckfield MP for Nuneaton 1967-83. MEP for Merseyside East 1984-89

John Hemming MP

Paul Gosling, Author: Abuse of Trust

Tracey Emmott, Director (Solicitor) Emmott Snell Solicitors

Dr Sarah Nelson, Child Abuse Researcher and Campaigner

Dr Philippa White, Director, Tuart Place

Caroline Carnot, Author & Founding Executive Care Leavers Association

Bobby Martin: Community & Gang Intervention Advisor

Will McMahon Deputy Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

Anne Peake, CPsychol., FBPsS

Dr Kenneth McIntyre, CPsychol, AFBPsS

Chris Walker, Educational Psychologist PSI-UK

Dr Paul Redgrave, Director of Public Health, Barnsley 2004-09

Dr Valerie Sinason, Clinic for Dissociative Studies

Glenys Ingham, Headteacher

Di Roome, Retired Headteacher

Ken Jones, Education Leadership Consultant

Ed Nixon, Chief Executive, Family Care Associates

Brian Douieb, Former Leaving Care Social Work Manager

John Leech MP

et al


IMPORTANT: Please contact Theresa May if you want Michael Mansfield QC to chair the inquiry.

Please email if you have written to Theresa May endorsing the letter

There is also a petition here

  1. Reblogged this on cathyfox and commented:
    Child Protection Professionals, campaigners and survivors want Sir Michael Mansfield to Chair the Sexual Abuse Historical Abuse Report. They also want the Terms of Reference that will get to the truth of the abuse, not cover it up as Theresa Mays suggested terms of “lessons learnt”. Theresa May and her cronies need to realise that the people are not willing for their children to keep on being abused by the “elite” (illite) and it being covered up.

  2. Geoffrey Stansfield said:

    Perhaps most important will be the Terms of Reference .
    I agree with what you say ” In addition to the need to have the correct chair – it is very disappointing that the proposed Terms of Reference (TOR), as set out by the Home Secretary, will, unless revised, render the Child Abuse Inquiry that she has announced almost worthless. ”

    I have written to the Home Secretary , Rt Hon T May MP and I quote extracts here from it :-

    3) In my experience , the technique of restricting the Terms of Reference of an Inquiry is the first line of defence of a corrupt establishment when it wishes to cover up or carry out a damage limitation exercise .

    4) Having had this pointed out to you & your advisers , whether they be Lawyers or not , should you fail to correct your proposed and inadequate specification of these Terms of Reference , would you please explain why such action could not and / or should not be dealt with under the Fraud Act 2006 ?

    5) This is simply because you will have known in advance that your ” Child Abuse Inquiry ” will not have been fit for purpose from the outset .

    6) You will , in fact , have possessed guilty knowledge that there would have been a high risk that the Child Abuse Inquiry would have been unable to fulfil it’s intended purpose .

    7) On these grounds , your advisers and yourself are respectfully urged to rectify these inadequate Terms of Reference forthwith , and with a similar rapid speed with which you appointed Baroness Butler-Sloss .

  3. Please let me know what you would say in reply.

    —–Original Message—–
    Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 10:19 AM
    Subject: Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the UK.

    Dear Mr Mortimer,

    Thank you for your email of 19 June to the Secretary of State for Education regarding an overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse. Your email has been forwarded to the Safeguarding and Vulnerable People Unit at the Home Office for a response. I am sorry for the delay.

    The Government is committed to tackling child sexual abuse and is very aware of the serious and often long-lasting effects of these terrible crimes on victims. We are clear that if a person has suffered sexual abuse, however long ago, and they go to the police about what they have been through, then we expect the police to do everything in their power to help those victims, and everything possible to investigate the complaint.

    On 7 July the Home Secretary announced an inquiry panel into child sexual abuse. This inquiry will consist of a panel of experts and will consider whether public bodies, and other non-state institutions, have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse. The inquiry will consider all the information from the various published reviews and identify any issues or allegations requiring new or further investigation. It will advise on any further action needed to address any gaps or failings within our current child protection systems on the basis of the findings and learning from these reviews.

    It will be a wide inquiry and will look not just at state institutions but at other bodies to see whether they have been protecting children appropriately. The inquiry panel will have access to all the Government papers, reviews and reports that it needs and will be free to call witnesses from organisations in the public and private sectors, and in wider civil society. The terms of reference will be published when they are agreed, and a progress report will be made to Parliament before the General Election. The Home Secretary has been clear that, if the Chairman concludes that formal inquiry powers are required, we will ensure the inquiry is converted to formal inquiry status.
    In terms of lessons learnt, and as the Home Secretary stated in the House of Commons, the National Group that Norman Baker, the Minister of State for Crime Prevention, is leading has already brought forward proposals on how the police and prosecutors could better handle these matters and it will continue with its work. That will feed into the work of the wider inquiry panel. As you will appreciate from the Home Secretary’s statement, the Government feels it is right to set this review up as an inquiry panel so that it can begin its work without jeopardising the criminal investigations taking place. It will look at what, if any, gaps there might be in our current work that mean we are not properly protecting children and, if there are any, what appropriate mechanisms could be put in place to ensure that those gaps are filled.

    Thank you for writing about this very important issue.

    Yours sincerely,

    Safeguarding and Vulnerable People Unit

  4. Pity you have not seen fit to obtain support from the various Trade Unions & the support of the TUC on this important subject !

  5. Peter McKelvie said:

    Very disappointed and somewhat surprised that there wasn’t the same level of uproar/protest at the appointment of Wanless as there was re.Lady B-S
    Exactly the same argument applies in my opinion and I wouldn’t have given one word of my evidence to either.
    Wanless’ s link to 3 prominent politicians, one of whom has been subject to ” internet gossip” for over 20 years ( even if such talk is wild and malicious rumour ) makes it a totally inappropriate appointment as does the fact that no-one from the NSPCC should have any role in a genuinely truly INDEPENDENT Inquiry

  6. The following is a letter sent to MP to complain about NSPCC being involved
    Rose Wynes-devlin

    Email sent to my MP. If others wish to copy or use it to write to their MP, happy for you to do so.

    Dear Siobhan,

    I am writing to you to ask that The NSPCC should not be involved in the Inquiry that Theresa May is setting up to look into child abuse cover ups and the missing dossiers.It is regretable that the people Ms May choose are part of the Establishment.This shows a contempt for the British public as they try to put the Inquiry into a ” safe pair of hands”

    Firstly ,the NSPCC has been negligent in its duty as an organization to address issues of child abuse by the rich & famous. It has failed miserably to detect paedophiles in their midst and given the scale of abuse it is more likely to be part of the problem rather than the solution. This may have more to do with its funding and corporate links. One only needs to examine the list of Patrons, companies, philanthropists, supporters to see that there is a ”Charity Establishment” and the evidence of so many important figures suggests that The NSPCC’s position is unthinkable in its position to be impartial and to go where the evidence suggests is highly unlikely.The conflict of interests is so obvious that it defies belief that NSPCC has been nominated. Andrew Flanagan an ex chairman of the NSPCC compares it to the media “It’s a regulated industry, you deal with politicians, there are big advertising budgets and it’s a people business. More similarities than differences, I tell people,” he says.

    Secondly, Peter Wanless himself is ex treasury, a previous private parliamentary sec to Michael Portillo and is part of the Leeds alumina with many MP’s and influential people. As a cricket fan he frequents the clubs of the more elite type with Prince Philip as patron/ president.

    It will be difficult to have a proper Inquiry if the Government insists on putting forward tainted /connected people, so it would be better to consult with the survivors and whistleblowers who they wish to conduct Inquiries as they will be less well connected.If we want to draw a line under historic abuse these Inquiries will need to be done properly as the public will not tolerate any more cover ups/incompetence and crimes. In solving / understanding what has happened we are in a better position to prevent such abusive crimes continuing today.
    It has been suggested that Michael Mansfield should head the overarching Inquiry as many survivors support/ trust him. Please forward this email to Ms May on behalf of myself as your constituent.

    Thank you for your help.

  7. Methusalada – Do you happen to know the TUC and major unions policies on child protection or child sexual abuse? If so could you post them. Thanks

    • cathyfox- I shall do my best & get back to you as soon as possible.

  8. Reblogged this on shirlz007 and commented:
    I would prefer a panel inwuiry of experts in the field (and the MPs who campaigned)… if it was a REAL inquiry, with the power to DEMAND documents from MI5/Special Branch etc (instead of politely requesting)… maybe Mansfield QC would be the man

  9. IWTT said:

    Have signed petition and shared. Have copied Phil Frampton into my email to Theresa May with full professional details.

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