Monday 5 December 2016
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has today announced that Baroness Helen Liddell will be the first ever Chair of the Independent Review Group (IRG) an autonomous body, which will function separately from the Church and which will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits.
Announcing the appointment, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference said:
“I am most grateful to Baroness Liddell for agreeing to become the first Chair of the Independent Review Group, which will review and audit the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding work. In accepting the recommendation of the McLellan Commission to create an independent group, it was clear that a chairperson of national stature and proven competence would be required and I believe, that in Helen, these qualities are perfectly met.”
“On behalf of the bishops of Scotland I welcome her appointment and look forward to working with her as we continue to implement in full the safeguarding recommendations presented to us last year.”
Responding to the appointment, Baroness Liddell said:
" This group will be a transparent and fearless means of ensuring that the McLellan Commission recommendations are implemented in full. We owe it to the survivors to ensure that their suffering is never repeated."
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Notes to Editors:
- In November 2013, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops announced that they had asked Dr Andrew McLellan to carry out an external Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures designed to “review the suitability and robustness of safeguarding procedures and the quality and rigour of their implementation nationally.” Two years later in August 2015 Dr. McLellan’s Commission completed its report. The Bishops’ Conference welcomed the Report and accepted its recommendations in full, undertaking to implement them all. Three months later, they published an Implementation plan, describing how the recommendations would be acted upon. The plan was open to consultation and comment. A key component of the Commission report was the creation of an Independent Review Group, (IRG) an autonomous body, which will function separately from the Church and which will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits. Baroness Liddell been asked to chair this group and has agreed to do so.
- Baroness Helen Liddell – Biography: Served as MP for Monklands East from 1994 to 1997, and for Airdrie and Shotts until 2005. Appointed to the Privy Council in 1998. Served as Secretary of State for Scotland, from 2001 to 2003. Became British High Commissioner to Australia from 2005 until 2009. Created a Life Peer in 2010 taking the title Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke.
3. A photograph of Baroness Liddell and Archbishop Tartaglia is available for download here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/31315407231/in/dateposted-public/