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Fiona Woolf has announced she is standing down as the head of the Government’s inquiry into historic child abuse.
She had come under severe pressure over her links with former home secretary Lord Brittan.
“There was great nervousness as a result of the perception of my connections with Lord Brittan. I’ve been thinking about it for several days... what turned the tide was... the victims themselves,” she told the BBC this evening.
“You need someone who can command everybody’s support to get behind this because that’s the only way it can succeed.”
Home Secretary Theresa May will make a statement to the Commons on the situation on Monday.
Ed Miliband welcomed the decision, telling BBC 5live:“I think Fiona Woolf has done the right thing... That was the only course left open to her.”
Victims’ representatives agreed “pretty much unanimously” after a meeting with inquiry officials today that she should be replaced.
Speaking after the talks, Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood said: "It would be a dead duck in the water as far as we’re concerned if Mrs Woolf remained."
The row over Ms Woolf's appointment has intensified after drafts of a letter detailing the extent of her links with Lord Brittan were published. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it was “impossible to see” Ms Woolf continuing in post.
Downing Street had continued to back Ms Woolf, who replaced Elizabeth Butler-Sloss at the head of the inquiry amid concerns over her own impartiality.
“The Prime Minister is absolutely clear that she can do this job with impartiality and integrity," a spokesperson said.
Other senior politicians had also questioned her suitability for the role.
Former home secretary David Blunkett said there was a "very substantial cloud over whether she can now do the job" while Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, also called on her to consider her position.
Mr Blunkett told the World at One the exchange of letters, in which Home Office officials suggested amendments, had prompted a "change of heart".
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