Tuesday, 8 July 2014

What does "unimpeachable" mean with respect to the Chair of inquiries?

Yesterday at the Home Affairs Select Committee Mark Sedwill, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, stated this in response to a question about the appropriateness of the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss as Chair of the inquiry into Child Abuse:
She is a woman of unimpeachable integrity.
See, for example, Questions over choice of Butler-Sloss as head of child abuse allegations inquiry

On the surface, at least, this could be reassuring.

At least it could be reassuring if one wasn't aware that Lord Falconer stated that Lord Hutton was
a senior judge of unimpeachable standing
See, for example, Lord Chancellor under inquiry

Many of us realise that a judge of "unimpeachable standing", such as Lord Hutton, is entirely capable of conducting an inquiry that is a whitewash.

I would go further.

I believe that the "unimpeachable" Lord Hutton perverted the course of justice with respect to the true cause of Dr. David Kelly.

See, for example, The Death of Dr. David Kelly - Did Lord Hutton deliberately conceal the murder of Dr. David Kelly?

Whether you accept that or view Lord Hutton's report as merely a "whitewash" or having criminal intent it seems to me that a claim of an individual being "unimpeachable" is no guarantee of an honest inquiry being conducted.

I wrote to the Home Secretary yesterday asking her to require Lady Butler-Sloss to resign due to visible conflicts of interest.

See Is Lady Butler-Sloss an appropriate person to head the Child Abuse Inquiry?

I stand by the view that if the Child Abuse Inquiry is to have any credibility then Lady Butler-Sloss must resign as its Chair.

The conflicts of interest are too serious for her to have any credible role as Chair of the Inquiry.

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