Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online

The documents were made public in a bid to support claims that a member of the Home Office’s abuse panel had been bullied

Survivors of sex abuse say they have received death threats and been approached by their abusers, after MPs published their details online last week.

As part of its inquiry into how the Home Office handled historical sex abuse, the House of Commons’ Home Affairs select committee revealed the identities of four victims on its website.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, a group of abuse survivors said: “It has exposed us as individuals, making us feel vulnerable, and is having a huge impact on our work.”

Keith Vaz, the chair of the inquiry, published an unedited version of the 96-page document, but has since redacted the names of the survivors of abuse and other sensitive details.

The documents were made public in a bid to support claims that a member of the Home Office’s abuse panel, Sharon Evans, had been bullied by another member of the inquiry team.

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."

Sources told Sky News that Home Secretary Theresa May has written to Mr Vaz describing her “dismay” at the publication of the documents. The source added Mr Vaz was now in the process of apologising to 18 members of the group.

The Home Affairs select committee said in a statement: "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 e-mail exchanges between Panel members about the Panel’s external communications strategy.

"These e-mails 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."

Additional reporting PA