Jersey

Jersey child abuse inquiry review 'would be underhand'

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Image caption The inquiry is looking into historical child sex abuse in the island

Plans to review the terms of a historical abuse inquiry in Jersey are "underhand", an abuse survivors support group claims.

The scope of the inquiry into historical child abuse in the island is being looked at by UK child care expert Andrew Williamson.

The Care Leavers' Association described the move as "sneaky and underhand".

Jersey's Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst said he hoped the public inquiry would allow victims to talk freely.

He said he did not want it to be confrontational and hoped a free approach would allow questions to be raised.

In an open letter to the chief minister, the Care Leavers' Association said they it see no reason why the States needed to look again at the existing terms of reference.

'Watered down'

It said: "If it is tampered with in any way, i.e. watered down, it will not be fit for purpose."

The group wrote to the chief minister saying: "You have called in Andrew Williamson to look at the terms of reference submitted to you in November last year.

"This has been done in what can only be seen as a sneaky and underhand way with no consultation at all with the interested parties."

Senator Gorst told the States: "Individuals must be allowed to appear before the commission and talk about their experience because that is the way answers will be provided.

"That is different from an adversarial approach where people feel they need to have legal representation because they feel they are being challenged, that is what we want to avoid."

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