Inquiry finds Westminster failed significantly in responses to child sexual abuse

25 February 2020 – IICSA

The Inquiry has now published its Westminster report, which reveals that political institutions have significantly failed in their responses to allegations of child sexual abuse for decades.

This includes failing to recognise abuse, turning a blind eye to it, covering up allegations and actively protecting high-profile offenders, including politicians.

During three weeks of public hearings during 2019, the Inquiry heard from survivors, whistleblowers, cabinet ministers, MPs and police officers among others.

The report makes five recommendations, including ensuring all political parties have comprehensive safeguarding policies and procedures. It also calls on the Cabinet Office to re-examine its policy on the posthumous forfeiture of honours.

Chair of the Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay OBE, said:

It is clear to see that Westminster institutions have repeatedly failed to deal with allegations of child sexual abuse, from turning a blind eye to actively shielding abusers.

“A consistent pattern emerged of failures to put the welfare of children above political status although we found no evidence of an organised network of paedophiles within Government.

“We hope this report and its recommendations will lead political institutions to prioritise the needs and safety of vulnerable children.

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