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Full public inquiry needed into historic child abuse

The Government must launch a full and transparent public inquiry into alleged cover-ups of historic child abuse cases, the British Association of Social Workers said.

Home Secretary Teresa May has announced plans to set up a panel of experts to investigate evidence suggesting institutions from political parties, the NHS, the BBC and the Church failed to protect vulnerable children from abuse.

A full inquiry will only be established if the panel recommends it.

However, BASW’s England Manager Maris Stratulis said: “BASW was among those campaigning for an inquiry into allegations of historic abuse against children and we welcome the Home Secretary’s announcement.

“However, these allegations go to the very top of society and shockingly even the political establishment. Given the level of public concern, a full inquiry is needed to ensure, as David Cameron says, ‘no stone is left unturned’.

“This must be transparent, accountable and informed by principles of social justice for the survivors of any findings of wrongdoing by people in authority.”

Ms Stratulis added such principles should also guide a separate review led by the NSPCC looking into how the Home Office handled allegations of child sex abuse going back to the 1980s.