Falconer under threat in Cafcass row

The government’s most senior lawyer could be forced to
resign if it is proved he tried to force a board member of Cafcass
to quit  for revealing the service’s failings, writes
Derren Hayes.

In a specially arranged parliamentary debate, MPs voted to refer
the matter to the House of Commons’ all-party standards and
privileges committee because of concerns that the Lord Chancellor
Lord Falconer had breached parliamentary rules.

The motion was brought by Alan Beith, chairperson of the
Department for Constitutional Affairs’ select committee,
after the committee agreed there were grounds to suggest Falconer
had suspended Judy Weleminsky for giving unauthorised evidence to
its inquiry into the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support
Service last year.

Weleminsky has been suspended pending the completion of a
disciplinary process after refusing Falconer’s request to
resign. The remaining nine board members agreed to resign as
recommended by an independent review last autumn.

Falconer wrote to Weleminsky in December outlining the terms of,
and reasons for, her suspension and said he was “minded to
terminate her board membership”, but would delay a decision
until after she had responded to the allegations.

No date has been set by the standards and privileges committee
to review the case.

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