Media reports yesterday somewhat surprisingly reported that Ben Emmerson QC was thinking of resigning, an unusual announcement and one which surely heralds his departure. By last night he had been suspended due to concerns it is reported about his leadership.
This is not the first time he has faced issues about his position at the Inquiry. A member of the original victim and survivors panel complained about his bullying behaviour. That was investigated and not substantiated.
At the time of Dame Lowell Goddard’s resignation comments were made and questions raised about her relationship with the wider Inquiry team. Now Mr Emmerson seems to be facing similar issues. This is all at a time when Prof Alexis Jay is undertaking an internal review, the extent and scope of which is not known.
The consequence of all of this continuing uncertainty is more delay and loss of trust, whether by victims/survivors or the organisations who are already or may be involved. The Inquiry needs good leadership, a timetable which shows some progress is being made and that it is transparent and focused. Otherwise headlines will continue to talk of it as a fiasco, all involved will lose any trust and we will be left with a very costly mess, both for taxpayers and institutions which will have served no purpose and caused even more damage to those who have been abused.
Paula Jefferson, Partner