Fiona Woolf appearing at the Home Affair Select Committee

Fiona Woolf, recently appointed Chair of the government’s CSA inquiry, appearing in front of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on 21st Oct 2014. She might have been expecting an easy ride, but she didn’t get one.

In response to questions about her lack of experience in child care, she stressed how her task is to act as manager, provide focus and ensure efficiency.

She repeatedly claimed that she was “not a member of the Establishment”, and failed to comprehend that others may not share her perspective.

It was revealed that her letter to the Home Secretary was drafted with the assistance of Home office staff, and, after the Home office had approved it, the final version published.
The Committee have asked to see the first draft.

It was apparent from her replies that the terms of reference weren’t drafted by her, nor did she propose any names for panel members. She has yet to meet face to face with any of the panel, and that will not take place until 12th November. Vaz was surprised and critical of this delay.

Woolf stressed the importance of speed, but the first output of the inquiry will be an interim report at the end of March next year. Keith Vaz pointed out that because of the election in 2015, parliament will be porogue at the end of March, and therefore the first time MPs could review the interim finding would be 7th May. He asked Woolf if she would produce the interim report by end of February.

Worth the hour and five minutes to watch in full.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Fiona Woolf appearing at the Home Affair Select Committee

  1. Pingback: Fiona Woolf appearing at the Home Affair Select Committee | Alternative News Network

  2. sxjack

    It was worth watching. Interesting to see the body language from a few of them,too.

  3. Pingback: Fiona Woolf – the untruth in her letter to the Home Secretary | Desiring Progress

  4. Pingback: Overarching Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry – Woolf Inquiry | cathyfox

  5. Pingback: #FionaWoolf: ordinary citizen or establishment figure? Grilled by #HomeAffairs Committee | National Inquiry into Organised, Orchestrated & Historic Child Sexual Abuse

  6. This was the the Home Affairs Committee at its worst although understandable given the misconceptions and different agendas of most people who pressed for an Hillsborough style over arching inquiry. The meeting showed the danger of politicians responding the orchestrated campaign of a vociferous few and unfortunately not adequately briefed as in some respects was Mrs Woolf despite the meeting with the Home Secretary in the morning and any prep about what to expect from an appearance before the committee. It is perhaps not appreciated that all the professionals appeared before a Select committee are prepped as are the Committee Members by the Committee appointed advises and their individual staff.

    However I want to concentrate on the important announcements of the day and where suggest the focus should be.

    The most important development is the terms of reference and the admission that Mrs Woolf was appointed as a traditional team leader to weld panel into a focused team. The terms of references could take ten years to complete if the level of documentation and thoroughness required. I recommend everyone write in asking the panel to concentrate on the cover up by governments.

    The second important development is that is that the panel are to hold regional consultations, evidence giving session and that some of these may well be held in public. This takes the panel away from a Hillsborough style documentation review into more of a CSA Inquiry.

    The third is that Mrs Woolf has already pressed the Home Secretary to provide the level of funding which an ambitious inquiry required and the impression government is that government has agreed to this.

    The fourth point is that panel has been strengthened in ways which are impressive.

    Regarding the session I though several Members showed a lack of due respect and their questioning was at times offensive to the point of bullying.
    Noteworthy they were all men with men in their thousands being the perpertrators

  7. Pingback: A Fortnight in the Life of the Overarching Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry. Where now? | cathyfox