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Names of abuse victims published

The names of four child abuse victims have been inadvertently published on the website of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee.

The victims said they have been subjected to online hate campaigns and even received death threats as a result of the disclosure.

In a statement, the committee - which is chaired by Labour MP Keith Vaz - said the documents containing the names had since been redacted to remove references to the individuals concerned.

The names appeared in a extended collection of documents which the committee released as part of its inquiry into how the Home Office has handled the issue of historical child abuse.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, seen by The Daily Telegraph, a group of 18 victims - including the four named in the documents - said they had been left feeling vulnerable and exposed.

In one case, they said that one of the victims and his young daughter had been "targeted" by a convicted abuser.

They said that views expressed in the documents by some of the members of the independent panel inquiry into child sex abuse had added to their distress.

"Named individuals/survivors have been subjected to social media hate campaigns as a result of the disclosures and negative attitudes expressed by some panel members," the letter stated, according to the Telegraph.

"It has exposed us as individuals, making us feel vulnerable and having a huge impact on our work and organisations.

"The tabloids have called for comment with information on our family members and we have received death threats."

In a statement, the committee 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 email exchanges between panel members about the panel's external communications strategy.

"These emails included the names of third parties who were not members of the panel. At the request of the individuals concerned, and of the panel secretariat, the material has been redacted to remove references to these individuals."

In a statement, the independent panel inquiry said: "We would like to stress that the provision of documents subsequently placed this week on the Home Affairs Select Committee website was done without permission or knowledge of seven of the eight panel members or the inquiry secretariat.

"We have no further comment to make and await the decisions of the Home Secretary regarding the appointment of a chair and on the future shape of the inquiry."


From Belfast Telegraph