Ex-Attorney General steps down after less than a year in role

Baroness Scotland has resigned as the head of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission for England and Wales (NCSC) after less than a year in the role.

A statement on the commission’s website said that her resignation came into effect on December 31 2011.

It said: “It is with much regret that the Rt Hon the Baroness Scotland of Asthall QC has decided to tender her resignation as Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission for England and Wales. Increasing pressures in other areas of her work have resulted in this decision.

“The baroness is encouraged by the continuing commitment of the Catholic Church and the members of the NCSC in their work to improve the safeguarding of children and adults at risk, and also their work with survivor organisations. She wishes the new Chair every success.”

Baroness Scotland, the former Attorney General for England and Wales, was appointed head of the NCSC in March 2011. She replaced Bill Kilgallon, who had served as chairman since the body’s creation in 2008.

Victims’ groups called for Baroness Scotland’s resignation in August after she was quoted as saying that priests sometimes abused because they were “unsupported emotionally” by lay people.

The NCSC is an independent organisation responsible for overseeing the Church’s safeguarding policies for children and vulnerable adults. It is now seeking a new head and will interview candidates for the post in February.