The Independent Inquiry has suspended its lead legal counsel over concerns about his leadership of the Inquiry’s counsel team. The Inquiry published a statement today confirming that Mr Ben Emmerson QC had been suspended from duty whilst concerns “about aspects of Mr Emmerson’s leadership of the Counsel Team” are properly investigated. In its brief statement, the Inquiry also addressed recent suggestions in the media that Mr Emmerson had been considering resigning after raising disagreements over the future direction of the Inquiry. It described those suggestions as untrue.

It is not clear whether this is the latest step taken as a result of the Inquiry’s internal review directed by its most recent Chair, Professor Alexis Jay OBE. The internal review was intended to explore new ways to deliver the Inquiry's investigative work while remaining faithful to its terms of reference. Professor Jay has maintained that the Inquiry will abide by its original terms of reference, and will not seek to narrow or restrict the ambit of the Inquiry’s remit. The Home Office has commented that Mr Emmerson’s suspension is a matter for the Inquiry, and reaffirmed that its commitment to the Inquiry is undiminished. However, in light of the former Chair Dame Lowell Goddard’s criticism of the scale and scope of the Inquiry, it remains to be seen whether the Inquiry will continue to have the full support of its team as it seeks to fulfil this objective.

For any questions regarding the work of the Inquiry or your organisation’s response to it, please contact our Public & Regulatory department.

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Emma Dowden-Teale


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Claire Whittle

Senior Associate

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Melanie Carter

Partner and Head of Public & Regulatory

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Posted on 29/09/2016 in Legal Updates

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