Editor’s comment: Council must answer fears of survivors

Dr Liz Davies helped blow the lid on the child abuse scandal that blighted Islington for decades. Sh

Dr Liz Davies helped blow the lid on the child abuse scandal that blighted Islington for decades. She is pictured in her office at London Met University with cuttings from newspapers who ran her story. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The Gazette echoes Dr Liz Davies’ caution over the appointment of two senior lawyers to look into our evidence linking a former mayor to a pro-paedophile campaign group.

We have been pressing for details of the next stage of this inquiry ever since Islington promised it back in May – the day we published the first part of our investigation.

It’s good news that the White Report – which has been heavily criticised by Dr Davies and the survivors with whom she works – will be re-examined.

But Dr Davies’ concerns about the suitability of James Goudie QC should be enough to give the council pause for thought if it is to win the trust of survivors.

I am disappointed, too, to learn that Islington Survivors’ Network was not more involved in establishing the terms of reference, since that organisation is at the heart of the scandal.

It is they who have the most burning questions as their lives were the ones that were destroyed. Its co-founder Dr Davies was the whistleblower who went to the Evening Standard in 1992 about the horrific abuse she had been told about. Her knowledge of this cause is second to none because she has devoted half her life to researching and campaigning.

I hope the council is able to allay fears about the way this fresh inquiry will be carried out. Islington is a different organisation from what it was all those years ago, and it must be given the space and time to demonstrate that.

But when someone as experienced as Dr Davies has concerns, they must be tackled while there is still time to shape the investigation. I do not want to be writing in months or years about how another opportunity was missed to at last address the wrongs of Islington’s dreadful past.

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