Suspension of child abuse inquiry lawyer a ‘devastating blow’

The Guardian

Matthew Weaver and Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016

The suspension of the most senior lawyer to the troubled public inquiry into institutional child abuse has been called a devastating blow to survivors of abuse.

Ben Emmerson QC was suspended before he was expected to resign over apparent disagreements about the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. It is the latest setback to the inquiry after the resignations of three previous chairs, and has fuelled fears that the process is “careering out of control”.

Ian McFadyen, a campaigner and survivor of abuse, said the inquiry had been beset by “catastrophe after catastrophe”.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the impact of Emmerson’s suspension, he said: “It is one of the largest inquiries that the United Kingdom is to undergo and legal advice and counsel of his quality and expertise is essential … This is a devastating blow for survivors.”

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