Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Campaigners urge Deputy First Minister John Swinney to remove a senior official from the inquiry

"A TOP civil servant is facing calls to resign amid claims she said it was `OK` for abuse victims to die if their demise resulted in greater support in future cases where there was a risk of suicide."

"Campaigners are urging Deputy First Minister John Swinney to remove a senior official linked to the inquiry into historic abuse at Scottish care homes following a string of complaints about her conduct."

"Jessica McPherson works closely with victims of abuse in her role setting up Survivor Scotland, a fund which supports those giving evidence to the inquiry. She is head of delivery, care rights and support, at the Scottish Government..."

"Janine Rennie, chief executive of abuse charity Open Secret, and project manager Safia Ali claim to have heard the alleged remark during a meeting to discuss a support team being established on August 24 last year...."

"It is understood at least three grievances have been lodged with the Scottish Government about Ms McPherson`s conduct..."

"Meanwhile Ms McPherson has also become the focus of several damaging allegations from White Flowers Alba, which also represents and campaigns for abuse victims, the majority of whom suffered in Catholic institutions..."

"Ms McPherson has also alienated members of the group In Care Abuse Survivors Scotland (INCAS), on one occasion responding angrily to the presence of their lawyer at a meeting in 2015, with the result that he was excluded from the meeting..."

"In his letter dismissing the claims from Open Secret, Mr Swinney says the charity has been asked not to `denigrate` officials."

"But the charity says they are providing evidence of misconduct."

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