Phil Taylor is a Weekend Herald and New Zealand Herald senior staff writer.

Dame Lowell Goddard back in New Zealand

Dame Lowell Goddard in Wellington yesterday. Picture / Mark Mitchell
Dame Lowell Goddard in Wellington yesterday. Picture / Mark Mitchell

Dame Lowell Goddard has returned home to Wellington, two months after resigning from her role as head of a major inquiry into child abuse in Britain.

When approached by the Weekend Herald yesterday, she said she did not wish to comment.

Last week she vehemently rejected claims in the Times of London newspaper about her professionalism and competence and said the allegations were part of a "vicious campaign" against her.

Goddard suddenly quit in August as head of Britain's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse after 18 months in the £360,000-a-year ($611,000-a-year) role.

She was the third inquiry chairman to quit following the resignations of Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf.

She had previously faced scrutiny about her understanding of English law, long periods of leave and her generous pay.

Goddard has said she resigned to enable the British Government to revisit what she saw as the unworkable framework of the inquiry set up to examine allegations of child abuse across public and private institutions.

Downing Street has revealed Prime Minister Theresa May was aware of "tensions" between Goddard and the panel of the child sexual abuse inquiry "some weeks before" an official complaint was made. May was Home Secretary when Goddard was appointed.

Britain's Home Office had previously said it was only informed of concerns about Goddard when they were formally made on July 29 - six days before she resigned.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, replying to questions in the House of Commons, said she had asked the former high court judge to appear in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions about her departure.

- NZ Herald

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