When Theresa May moved to the Home Office in 2010, she was its sixth occupant and she lasted six years, making her the longest-serving Home Secretary in modern times, before becoming Prime Minister.
One legacy that will be remembered will be her cutting police numbers by 20,000 since 2010. She had some encounters with the Police Federation when she told their 2015 conference to “stop crying wolf” over the cuts. Other crime-reducing initiatives, from youth outreach to social services, have also seen drastic funding cut. There was a reduction in stop-and-search, educational failure, and an increased rate of family breakdown.
On 8th July 2014, Theresa May as Home Secretary, oversaw the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to the inquiry set up to investigate child sexual abuse by prominent politicians and clergy in the previous decades.
Within 6 days of the announcement of Baroness Butler-Sloss as chair, she was forced to stand down for obvious conflicts of interest. Curiously, Theresa May had selected somebody whose brother was Attorney General during some of the periods being investigated.
Later the same year May chose the then Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, to chair the inquiry. Fiona Woolf had to stand down when it became apparent that she had lived near Leon Brittan, a home secretary in the Thatcher government, who has also been accused of alleged sexual abuse. Jon Wedger, the retired vice and corruption detective constable has done a lot of work on this, as well as the, now infamous, comings and goings at the Elm Guest house and Dolphin Square in London. He recalled sending him and his wife a dinner invite at around the time of the accusations. It was almost as if Theresa May was sabotaging the inquiry with no regard for the victims who still required answers. Why on earth would she do this?
On 4th February 2015, May announced that Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge, would be taking over as chair. She wouldn’t last long either. It seemed the inquiry was never going to get off the ground, do you believe in coincidence? Theresa May suddenly became Prime Minister, on August 2016, after Cameron stood down after the Brexit referendum. All opposition seeming to fade away, conveniently, apart from Andrea Leadsome
The new Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard. Soon after her resignation, it was announced that one of the existing panel members, Professor Alexis Jay, would become the chair.
But now the inquiry faced serious questions about its credibility.
To get things so badly wrong seems almost impossible. Theresa May never seemed to meet any of her immigration targets as Home Secretary, and it is hard to name her recorded achievements whilst she has been in office unless repeatedly failing to get her hated Withdrawal Agreement voted down a record number of times! Or perhaps the unconstitutional, and illegal, ignoring of the largest public expression of a political decision in all our islands history? But the inquiry into child sexual abuse seems to be almost something Theresa May did not want, (or perhaps could not face).
Perhaps the investigation would focus on MP’s who frequented not only the infamous Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square but also the Diocese of Chichester, once the home of her father Hubert Brasier, he of the disappearing online records?
So why was the abuse inquiry so catastrophically derailed and then shelved?
Surely the victims deserve more than a passing acknowledgement of their pain.
Like I said, do you believe in coincidences?