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MP speaks out over sex abuse inquiry chair’s alleged links to former Home Secretary Leon Brittan

“A campaigning MP has spoken out over alleged links between a politician and the new chairman of a government inquiry into historic child sex abuse.

The lord mayor of the City of London, Fiona Woolf, was last week named as the chairman of the independent inquiry after the original chairman, Baroness Butler-Sloss, stepped down.

Baroness Butler-Sloss quit just days after being appointed after questions were raised over potential conflicts of interest as her brother Lord Havers was attorney general at the time of some of the alleged events expected to be investigated.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, whose campaigning on the issue fuelled pressure for the inquiry, offered Mrs Woolf his support but has now spoken out after the emergence of similar allegations.

Mrs Woolf is said to have links with Leon Brittan, a former Conservative MP now sitting in the House of Lords, who is widely expected to give evidence to the investigation and was Home Secretary during a period likely to be examined.

The Mail on Sunday claimed they live near each other in London and sit together on a London conference board. The newspaper also said Mrs Woolf gave Lord Brittan’s wife a £50 donation for a charity fun run.

Mr Danczuk said that if links could be proved, her position as chairman of the investigation was ‘untenable’.

The inquiry, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May on July 7, will examine how the country’s institutions handled their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse over a period of decades.

Mrs Woolf, a leading tax lawyer, will be assisted by Graham Wilmer, a child sexual abuse victim and founder of the Lantern Project, as well as Barbara Hearn, former deputy chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau.”

Report by The Manchester Evening News

Related report: New Boss of investigation into VIP child abuse claims is linked to Leon Brittan