Our thanks to Mike P for this. The start of the piece:
A woman accused of lying about a Westminster paedophile plot has been awarded special status at a public inquiry into child sex abuse.
Esther Baker, who made unsubstantiated rape allegations against a former Liberal Democrat MP, has been made a ‘core participant’ at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
Core participants are entitled to apply for taxpayer-funded legal representation. They can also make opening and closing statements at hearings, suggest lines of questioning, and receive electronic disclosure of evidence.
The decision to give her special status comes months after police dropped an investigation into her claims against ex-MP John Hemming. Prosecutors ruled there was insufficient evidence to press charges.
He and others had been accused by Miss Baker of repeatedly raping her in a forest at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, in the 1980s and 1990s when she was between the ages of six and 11 – while police kept guard.
She waived her legal right to anonymity in 2015 to give a TV interview about her alleged ordeal.
Mr Hemming was voluntarily interviewed under caution by Staffordshire Police, but not arrested, and made a formal allegation to police that Miss Baker had perverted the course of justice.