Smyth Review: update from independent reviewer

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The independent reviewer, Keith Makin, has confirmed that the Learning Lessons Review is now reaching its final stages. This message has been relayed to the victims and survivors with whom the reviewers are in contact. The review team has analysed previously unpublished documents, including contemporaneous correspondence and notes from the relevant period. The material gathered, including testimonies, written statements and witness statements has been extensive, and far greater than originally envisaged.  The next stage will be consultation with victims, as part of the review team’s commitment to put victims at the heart.  This is intended to begin in the week commencing 9 January 2023. Once this is completed, it will be followed by a representations process involving individuals and organisations who will be named and criticised in the published report.  If you wish to be part of the consultation with victims, and are not already in contact with the review team, please contact Keith Makin at keith.makin@independentreviews.live 

The review team and NST regret this necessary further delay, which they recognise will understandably be disappointing for victims and survivors.

The NST has arranged continued support for victims through Nina Tanner, a specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). The formerly named Splitz organisation have changed their name to Fear-Less.org.uk Home – Fear Less (fear-less.org.uk) but still provide the same service to victim and survivors. Nina remains the independent lead for support for the victims of John Smyth and fulfils the same role as before. If you need support, she can be contacted on Nina.Tanner@fear-less.org.uk or on 07825 741751. If you have been affected by this latest update and need support, please do contact Nina.

The NST continues to look into every clergy person of whom they have been informed, within the scope of the Terms of Reference, who may have failed to disclose Smyth’s abuse.