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Barrister in charge of child abuse inquiry calls for removal of panel member

Barrister in charge of child abuse inquiry calls for removal of panel member

Theresa May, who commissioned the child abuse inquiry, is expected to make an announcement about its future this week. Meanwhile, it does not seem to be going smoothly as a panel member has accused the barrister in charge of bullying.

RT reports: The senior barrister in charge of advising an historic sex abuse inquiry has asked for one of the panel members to be removed. This follows accusations he had bullied her and attempted to influence members of the panel.

Ben Emmerson QC protested against Sharon Evan’s position on the panel after she told its members that he had “overstepped the mark.”

Evans is one of only two abuse survivors to sit on the panel, which had a turbulent beginning after the two selected chairwomen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf, both stepped down.

Evans reportedly told MPs currently investigating internal failures in the committee that Emmerson had tried to exercise control over her during questioning, and influence her in such a way as to stop her giving “honest” answers to questions.

She told the Home Affairs Select Committee that she felt “bullied,” She also said she “felt intimidated by an adviser to the panel.”

“And I made a complaint about the fact that I felt he was overstepping his mark, in terms of that advice and rewriting of letters, because I feel the independence of the panel is important.”

Emmerson responded to the accusations by saying she had behaved unprofessionally and disclosed private information. He called the claims of bullying “entirely baseless.”