The Herald reports:
Dame Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge who resigned on Thursday as chair of the £100 million (N$183.5m) Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), did not leave her post voluntarily but was effectively fired, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Dame Lowell, appointed by then-Home Secretary Theresa May just over a year ago, had already lost the confidence of senior staff and members of the inquiry panel, according to two well-placed legal sources.
After she gave a stumbling performance at a preliminary hearing on the case of former Labour politician Greville Janner, when she appeared not to understand her own legal powers, this was picked up by Mrs May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and her advisers.
The final straw was the disclosure – prompted in part by questions from this newspaper – that in her first year in the job, she spent 30 days on leave and 44 days supposedly ‘working’ in Australia, although in all that time she held only two meetings with members of a child abuse inquiry underway there.
A Home Office spokeswoman last night insisted it was ‘her decision’ to offer her resignation. But asked whether this had been suggested to Dame Lowell by officials because her position was becoming untenable, she refused to comment.
However Stuff reports:
Dame Lowell Goddard was not asked to resign from the British Inquiry into child sex abuse by the Home Office, says a spokesperson for the UK government agency.
This may be a play on words. Something can be a suggestion not a request.