Welcome to another week of thoughts and views, and this time, our question stems around the latest row involving the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Abuse.

It has emerged that two of the panel members have now been asked to resign, following what has been perceived to be threatening communications from them to specific survivors of child abuse.

The two panel members are Barbara Hearn and Graham Wilmer, a survivor of child abuse himself. It has been alleged that Barbara’s involvement with the National Children’s Bureau, where a leading member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Peter Righton, worked as a consultant between 1972 and 1974 creates a conflict of interest. Mr Wilmer’s email communications with a survivor are also being examined to see whether or not they are threatening.

Whatever one may think of the conflicts involved or the direct communication between panel members and survivors of abuse, it is clear that the Inquiry members are unaware of the very many considerations involved when running an inquiry such as this.

Our question this week, then, is this: Should the government scrap the current Inquiry and start again, with an open consultation to put together a panel the public can have confidence in, or are these unavoidable difficulties in a delicate process which any panel would have to navigate? 

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