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Inquiry into Westminster child abuse ring begins

THE long-delayed inquiry into historic child abuse finally got underway in London yesterday.

The independent inquiry was set up last year amid claims of an Establishment cover-up following allegations that a paedophile ring operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

However, it has been beset by controversy since it was first announced by Home Secretary Theresa May last July after both the first and second choices for inquiry chair were both forced to stand down.

Baroness Butler-Sloss stood down in July last year over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the ’80s.

Her replacement Dame Fiona Woolf resigned following a barrage of criticism over her “Establishment links,” most notably in relation to former home secretary Leon Brittan, who died earlier this year.

Officially opening the probe at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in Westminster, third choice New Zealand high court judge Justice Goddard said the inquiry faced a “daunting task.”

Justice Goddard said: “This inquiry provides a unique opportunity to expose past failures of institutions to protect children.”

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