Responding to a letter from Dame Lowell Goddard to the Home Affairs Select Committee which has appeared in the media this morning, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper MP said:
Dame Lowell Goddard's refusal to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee about her resignation from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Is disgraceful.
Dame Goddard has been paid significant amounts of public money to do an extremely important job which she suddenly resigned from, leaving a series of questions about what has been happening over the last 18 months and why the Inquiry got into difficulties.
Yet rather than give oral evidence to answer these questions she is relying on the fact that she is out of the UK to avoid the requirement to give evidence to Parliament.
This is an astonishing response from a paid public servant who should know how important transparency is in an inquiry as sensitive and crucial as this one. Child abuse survivors have been let down by the extremely rocky start to this inquiry and we do need answers as to why it went wrong in order to be confident it is back on track now.
The Committee has always believed it is vital that Dame Lowell Goddard gives oral evidence to us and we will explore what options are available to us to require her to come before the Committee should she enter the UK again at any time in the future.