But they say the excessive control was as much structural as personal, particularly with the contracts they signed. These included a principle of collective responsibility by which panel members could only make public statements about the inquiry if all their number agreed.

Evans said this was used to limit internal criticism of the inquiry process and urged would-be members of new panels to be wary of such arrangements. “I’ve been inside an inquiry and I’ve seen the way it can operate,” she said. “We ended up not having a voice on how the inquiry was set up and run – what should have been about protecting evidence was instead used to control us.”

Evans and Wilmer say they were certain much of the direction was coming from the Home Office, despite the inquiry’s official independence. “For me, what’s really shocking is that I went into all this thinking I really had something to offer,” Evans said.

“At the beginning it was OK, because they didn’t really know what they wanted. But then the political agenda started to become obvious. That was when I was told Theresa May was going to be prime minister and I needed to behave myself – it had to look like things were going well.”


[ excerpt taken from : Warning : Inquiries  are not independent, see External Articles, and scroll down ]