No one can accuse me of being the boy who cried Woolf. I had written that Fiona Woolf should be given a chance.
She’s had that chance. She IS too close to Leon Brittan. She must go.
Fiona Woolf is now a liability, she now stands in the way of any successful inquiry.
There are other concerns that I have in the light of yesterday’s Home Affairs Select Committee meeting.
It looks like the chair has absolutely no control over this inquiry process. It looks like it is being driven by the Home Office with Fiona Woolf just being a convenient, and generally absent from the UK, figurehead.
We learnt that it was the Home Office who had the final say on who was on the panel, Mrs Woolf hasn’t even expressed an opinion.
We learnt that the Inquiries head of secretariat is seconded from the Home Office.
We even learnt that the Home Office even helped draft her letter to the Home Secretary.
We learnt that this is not yet a formal full inquiry and is not able to compel anyone to provide evidence and yet it is still bound by the restrictions of a formal inquiry, in that it will only cover England and Wales. Jersey (Haut de la Garrene) Northern Ireland (Kincora) and the whole of Scotland will not be included.
Is this the ‘Overarching Child Abuse Inquiry’ that we were promised ?
Fiona Woolf must go and the sooner the better. Frankly, appointing someone at the beginning of September who has made it clear that they couldn’t get involved until mid November and isn’t due to report to parliament until after the general election next May is ridiculous.
It begins to look like Teresa May is deliberately trying to kick this into the long grass.