A LEADING abuse claims lawyer based in Newport has called for the planned UK Government public inquiry into historic sex abuse to have a Welsh representative.

The news comes after UK Government Home Secretary Theresa May said she is to go back to the drawing board with the public inquiry after deciding to disband the panel earlier this month.

The inquiry was set up to investigate whether public bodies and non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

Leading Welsh abuse claims lawyer Michael Imperato, of Newport-based Watkins & Gunn Solicitors, also said the inquiry should have statutory powers and be able to call witnesses.

Mr Imperato is currently representing a number of alleged victims who are pursuing historical abuse cases against the Scouts Association.

He is also calling for the inquiry to have a wider remit to include historic sexual abuse cases within the Scout Association and other trusted institutions.

Mr Imperato, the Wales Co-ordinator for the Association of Personal Injury lawyers, said: “It is now more important than ever that inquiries into historical abuse claims in the Scouts Association are reviewed.

“Whilst it will never bring back the innocence of these people’s childhood and erase what has happened, it will, at least, provide them with the justice they deserve.

“It is particularly important that any panel needs to have statutory inquiry rights and a wider remit so that any organisation that are in a position of trust with young people can be investigated at any given time.”

In a letter to members of the panel, Theresa May said she was considering introducing a statutory inquiry or replacing it with a Royal Commission.