29th May 2015

Statement from Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England

Statement from Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England:

“I have been advised by the Department for Education that they now judge our contract with Sue Berelowitz to lead the inquiry into child sexual abuse within the family context to fall outside Government rules and have therefore cancelled it. We are considering how the inquiry will continue with its important work, which we are all firmly committed to.

“I deleted Sue’s post to flatten the organisation’s management structure following a review of its governance. Deleting the post and its associated administrative support saved the organisation £175,000 per year. Sue was offered and accepted voluntary severance when her post faced deletion. The vast majority of her responsibilities transferred and I agreed a contract with her for a limited number of days to complete an inquiry into child sexual abuse in the family context as we both very much wanted this important work to continue. Sue entered into the contract in good faith and she and I remain committed to the Inquiry.

“Sue and I understood the contract to meet Government rules and in agreement with Sue, I took immediate action to cancel it when it was judged not to be so.”

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