Child abuse victims received death threats after MPs revealed their identities by publishing leaked evidence from paedophile inquiry
Survivors of child sex abuse have received death threats after their names and confidential details were published by MPs after being leaked by the Government’s inquiry into historic child abuse.
A group of victims have written to the Home Secretary expressing ‘grave concern’ that documents leaked by a member of the inquiry were published online.
The Home Affairs Select Committee published the documents on its website without blanking out the names of the victims, it has emerged.
The revelation came after the Government admitted it had lost two confidential discs containing sensitive information – including the identity of the police marksman who killed Mark Duggan in 2011 sparking nationwide riots.
Information relating to three judge-led inquiries including the fatal police shooting of Mr Duggan in Tottenham went missing after being sent in the post, the Ministry of Justice has admitted.
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Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz published leaked documents from the Government’s child abuse inquiry
The group says that names and contact details of panel members have since been redacted from the site – but not before they were contacted and threatened.
The Home Secretary Theresa May has written to Mr Vaz describing her ‘dismay’ at the Committee’s decision to publish the documents, Sky News has reported.
Mr Vaz is now understood to be apologising to the victims whose identities he accidentally exposed.
The Committee released a statement tonight, admitting that it had published material which it had received without redacting the names of abuse survivors.
The statement said: ‘Last week some material from the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse came into the Committee’s possession in the course of our inquiry.
‘The material included directions to Panel members about how they should answer questions from the Committee, as well as e-mail exchanges between Panel members about the Panel’s external communications strategy.
‘These e-mails included the names of third parties. At the request of the individuals concerned the material has been redacted to remove references to these individuals. The names of these individuals were already in the public domain.
‘It is the policy of the Home Affairs Committee to publish all material it receives unless they concern matters of national security.’
Ben Emmerson QC, the leading lawyer advising the inquiry, said the Home Secretary needed to disband it and set up a new investigation after details were leaked by panel member Sharon Evans
Member of the Independent panel inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Sharon Evans has been accused of leaking information
One abuse survivor and his young daughter were approached by a convicted abuser after their details were published, it has been claimed.
In a collective statement to the Home Secretary the group said: ‘It has exposed us as individuals, making us feel vulnerable, and is having a huge impact on our work.’
The news is likely to raise questions about the conduct of Mr Vaz, who earlier this week stated his intention to publish documents widely as a measure of ‘transparency’.
The documents also revealed the confidential details of a medical condition suffered by one survivor.
The news is a further setback for the child abuse inquiry, which has been beset by controversy after two previous chairs were forced to step down after their links to establishment figures were revealed.
Last week it emerged there was discord within the inquiry, as panel member and survivor Sharon Evans claimed she had been bullied by the inquiry’s most senior legal adviser, Ben Emmerson QC.
The government inquiry into child abuse has been without a chairman since November after Fiona Woolf resigned over links to the late Tory peer Lord Brittan
Fiona Woolf (left) resigned as committee chair – becoming the second inquiry head chosen by Theresa May (right) to step down
But on Monday Mr Emmerson told the Home Affairs Select Committee Mrs Evans had breached her duty of confidentiality and was diminishing the trust of survivors on the panel and its ability to protect sensitive details of past abuse from the general public.
The Home Affairs Select Committee now stands accused of being embroiled in those breaches itself.
A spokesperson for the Committee said that only the names of four survivors were revealed, and that those names have now been redacted.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2931710/Child-abuse-victims-received-death-threats-MPs-revealed-identities-publishing-leaked-evidence-paedophile-inquiry.html#ixzz3QIwWKY00
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