"Child abuse victims yesterday condemned the postponement of a key announcement on a public inquiry until after the General Election."
"Education Secretary Angela Constance had told them she intended to outline the scope of the statutory probe into historic institutional child abuse and who will lead it by the end of this month. Now she says this will be put off until next month as it is ‘crucial we get this absolutely right’. "
"But victims fear the announcement may have been cynically postponed until after the election to avoid an embarrassing backlash from abuse survivors. They are also worried the remit of the inquiry will be narrowed to exclude certain types of abuse."
"The inquiry will investigate historic child abuse within institutions. But the extent of the probe and the precise definition of ‘institution’ are unclear. it is likely to focus mainly on children in care – an estimated 1,000 youngsters were abused in Scottish children’s homes between 1950 and 1995."
"But campaigners point to other potential scandals – including alleged abuse within the Scout movement and claims of a paedophile ring involving senior legal figures in Edinburgh – which may fall outwith the definition of ‘institutional’. "
"Alan Draper of In Care Abuse Survivors said: ‘We don’t know exactly what the reasons for the delay are because we haven’t been told; we have been told unofficially that the announcement may not happen until around the middle of May."