HASC Feb 2015

Letter sent to VARIOUS people in 2015 telling half of the story xx

To Whom it may Concern

I am writing to you with regard to my attendance at the HASC pre appointment hearing of Justice Goddard.

I welcomed the opportunity to attend this hearing.

I would like to make you aware of a conversation (albeit a rather one sided conversation) that was had between Ben Emmerson QC and Justice Goddards husband shortly after they arrived at Portcullis House. Justice Goddard went to the toilet and I passed her on her way, assisting her to find the location of the toilets. When I got back to the Boothroyd Room Ben Emmerson QC and Justice Goddards husband were waiting outside of the Boothroyd Room. I overheard Ben Emmerson explain to Mr Goddard that he had been trying to help Justice Goddard understand that she [Justice Goddard] should not be worried about nor intimidated by the HASC committee hearing as they were “all well below her [Justice Goddard’s] intellect”. He went on to further explain that the hearing was not important to her role or employment which were both secure despite the pre appointment hearing. He went on to then offer a very personal of opinion of Keith Vaz MP (Chair of the HASC) and stated that he [Keith Vaz MP] was one of the least respected MPs in parliament and that “nobody really had any time for him”. Ben Emmerson QC went onto give his opinion of the way the HASC presented questions “they don’t really ask questions, they make long five minute statements that have about 15 questions in them somewhere”. Mr Goddard contributed very little to this conversation and I would like to make very clear it was not hushed nor secretive in any way, in fact I would describe Mr Emmersons voice as quite booming.

When Justice Goddard returned she along with her husband and Ben Emmerson were ushered into a private room so that Keith Vaz MP could introduce himself to them.

As a survivor of child sexual abuse, who had put a lot of faith in the HASC and their purpose it was entirely disheartening to hear counsel to the CSA Inquiry referring to it and its committee members in such a derisory fashion.

I do wonder given Mr Emmerson’s low opinion of a select committee what exactly he thinks of survivor’s intellect and “sensibilities”.

I would appreciate acknowledgement on receipt of this letter.

Yours sincerely Esther Baker

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