Blow for Shambolic ?100m Child Sex Abuse Inquiry As Another Top Lawyer Quits

By Felix Allen
The Sun
November 15, 2016

THE shambolic ?100m probe into Establishment child sex abuse was rocked today by the resignation of ANOTHER senior lawyer.

Aileen McColgan – in charge of investigating paedophiles in the Anglican and Catholic Church – quit because of serious concerns over the inquiry’s leadership, BBC Newsnight reports.

Top human rights barrister Aileen McColgan is the latest to quit the troubled child sex abuse inquiry

The high-profile probe into VIP paedophiles in Westminster, councils, the Church and schools has been blighted by resignations and cover-up claims and is now on its fourth chairman.

It is understood barrister Ms McColgan, who is also a professor of law at King’s College London, had concerns over the competency of the inquiry’s leadership and the way it had responded to the earlier resignation of her colleagues.

Two other lawyers also reportedly plan to quit over similar worries, the BBC reports.

It comes after the inquiry’s ?400k-a-year leading counsel Ben Emmerson QC was suspended in September over concerns about “aspects of his leadership”.

He resigned the next day and was followed out the door by human rights specialist Elizabeth Prochaska.

It later emerged the inquiry has dropped a conduct probe into Mr Emmerson after he had been accused of groping a woman in a lift, which he denies.

QC Ben Emmerson on ?400k a year was suspended from the inquiry and resigned the next day

In August the inquiry’s third chairman Lowell Goddard quit and moved back to New Zealand. She has instructed lawyers to fight claims that she had made racist remarks.

The fourth chairman, Prof Jay, has yet to replace Mr Emmerson but has denied the inquiry is “teetering on the brink”.

But two weeks ago it emerged barrister Toby Fisher quit as joint first junior counsel to the inquiry last year because he was concerned about the inquiry’s “progress and direction”.

Hugh Davies QC, deputy counsel to the inquiry, also quit in December 2015.

Last night Labour MP Lisa Nandy said: “The loss of so many senior members of the inquiry over a short space of time should sound alarm bells for government.

“It really is time that there is some oversight and accountability of this inquiry which is too important to fail.”

She added: “We have had a whole series of ministers and civil servants and members of the inquiry panel telling us that the inquiry is back on track and yet repeatedly we learn that there are still issues with the inquiry and it is no wonder that a number of survivors don’t have confidence that the inquiry can succeed.”

So far the inquiry has cost taxpayers ?14.7m – with lawyers’ fees of ?3.2m – even though it has not yet heard a single word in evidence in public since it was set up by Theresa May as Home Secretary in 2014.

New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard quit as the third chairman of the child abuse inquiry in August

Professor Alexis Jay is the fourth chairman of the ?100m VIP sex abuse probe

Prof McColgan declined to comment last night.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said in a statement: “We have a large legal team comprising a number of junior counsel, senior counsel and solicitors.

“They come and go subject to their professional obligations and we are not commenting on specifics.”








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