The Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Susan O’Brien QC has resigned. The Deputy First Minister has written to parliament advising he had already initiated a formal process which could have led to removal of the chair from her post.A Scottish Government announcement said “The decision to initiate that process, using powers under Section 12 of the Inquiries Act 2005, followed an incident where the chair revealed views that were interpreted by an expert in child abuse trauma who witnessed them to indicate a belief system that is incompatible with the post of chair of such an inquiry; to be offensive to survivors and to lack any context in which they could be viewed as acceptable. The expert had been retained by the Inquiry to provide critical professional psychological support, including to survivors giving evidence.”
This resignation follows the resignation last week of Prof M Lamb meaning that only one member (Glenn Houston) of the panel chairing this Inquiry remains in post. It is understood that Ms O’Brien did not deny making the comments and stood by them maintaining they were acceptable in the context in which they were made. A new chair will now be sought.
Written by Paula Jefferson, Partner