Goddard quits child abuse inquiry

Justice Lowell Goddard, chair, IICSA.

Dame Lowell Goddard has resigned as chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Justice Goddard announced the first round of investigations of historical abuse in November, saying the scale of the inquiry is "unprecedented" in the UK. There are 12 institution-specific and thematic probes, which cover several councils - the London Borough of Lambeth, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and Rochdale MBC - as well as the Anglican and Catholic churches, and former and current MPs.

Home secretary Amber Rudd said: "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."

The full reasons behind the resignation have not been given but Dame Goddard said that conducting such a far-reaching inquiry was "not an easy task" and the difficulty of the task has been compounded by a "legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off".

Lucy Duckworth, a member of the victims and survivors' panel that is part of the inquiry, said Dame Goddard had done an "incredible job" but work must continue.

"It's not called the Goddard inquiry; it's the independent inquiry. There are many staff there that are working extremely hard to lay down the infrastructure, which they have done as a foundation," she told the BBC.

"We need to make sure that, going forward, survivors that are encouraged to come and share their story with the inquiry are well supported and that is what is taking the time."