In a controversial interview released today, former Child Abuse Inquiry panel member Sharon Evans makes a startling number of revelations about the Inquiry.
A child abuse survivor and journalist who founded children’s charity Dot Com, Sharon accuses the Inquiry of trying to stifle concerns about the way the investigation was being run so that Theresa May could be pushed into office as Prime Minister.
Ms Evans also said that there was no independence whatsoever at the Inquiry, and that the confidentiality clause which all panel members had to sign, effectively prevented her and others from exposing the truth.
She goes on to allege that Ben Emmerson QC, who was lead counsel for the Inquiry at the time, warned her that if she made her concerns public, she would be discredited. Sharon tells Talk Radio:
“I was taken to one side and it was made clear to me, I was told that Theresa May was going to be the Prime Minister, this inquiry was going to be part of this, and that if I didn’t toe the line and do as I was told, if I tried to get information out, I would be discredited by her advisors.”
Ms Evans also claims that she was given a 23 page document which she was to take her cues from when speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee. The restrictions left her feeling unable to tell the Committee what she felt was the truth about the Inquiry and the way in which it was being governed.
In answer to the radio host’s question about who she felt was responsible for trying to suppress information, Ms Evans replied, The Home Office.
Ms Evans first came to the public’s attention for her initial attempts at speaking out about what she felt were internal conflicts within the Inquiry. She also went head to head with then lead counsel Ben Emmerson, telling the Home Affairs Select Committee that Mr Emmerson had threatened and intimidated panel members whilst acting as interim Chair for the Inquiry. Emmerson retaliated by telling the Committee that Evans had done “a great deal of damage” to the Inquiry.
The Home Office, which Miss Evans says is responsible for sweeping important information under the carpet, had previously sent Evans a letter accusing her of “extremely serious” breaches of confidentiality, a letter which the Home Affairs Committee went on to publish.
Fast forward two years and current Inquiry Chair, Professor Alexis Jaye, suspects that there are forces at work trying to destroy her investigation. She cites the incident of alleged sexual assault at the Inquiry as the catalyst for its near death experience.
Professor Jaye told the media in July of this year that “dark forces” were attempting to shut her down, and that, “strong vested interests would like to see this inquiry implode… There are institutions which would prefer to see us fail, because we are such a threat.’