Monday, 13 March 2017

Another setback for Scottish child abuse inquiry

"SCOTLAND’s beleaguered child abuse inquiry has suffered another setback after the Government sent out a desperate appeal for staff to work on its side of the investigation."

"A leaked email reveals the Government is at `serious risk` of missing a deadline set by the inquiry and warns of a `potential loss of credibility` among stakeholders..."

"Established in 2015, the inquiry is examining the abuse of children in care going back decades. It is currently taking evidence from people who were abused and a report is expected by late 2019."

"However, the complex probe has endured various crises, such as the resignation of all three of the original inquiry panellists."

"In June last year, Professor Michael Lamb quit after claiming that the inquiry was `doomed` due to government interference..."

"Weeks later, the then chair Susan O’Brien QC resigned and echoed the concerns of her erstwhile colleague: `My trust that the Scottish Government will actually respect the independence of the inquiry has gone. You have therefore left me with no alternative but to resign. I do so with a heavy heart, as I am clear that there is a real need for this inquiry to take place`."

"At the time, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he had accepted her resignation after starting the formal procedure to remove her from post."

"O’Brien is now suing the Scottish Government for £500,000 in loss of earnings and damage to her reputation following her departure from the role. She was replaced by Lady Smith. Glenn Houston, the last of the original panel members, quit last month, citing personal reasons."

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