The lawyer overseeing the inquiry into historical allegations of sex abuse has been suspended after raising concerns about the scope of the probe.

According to reports, Ben Emmerson QC (pictured) was suspended by Alexis Jay, chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Jay said the inquiry had ‘recently become very concerned’ about aspects of Emmerson’s leadership.

Several national newspapers lead on the news with some reporting a breakdown in relations between Emmerson and Jay.

According to The Times, Emmerson found out about his suspension only when he was contacted by the media and read about it on the internet. The paper added that he had desired a ‘restructuring’ of the inquiry but that it was at odds with Jay’s views.

He earned more than £400,000 for his work on the inquiry last year.

According to the BBC, more than one complaint had been made against Emmerson.

A spokeswoman for home secretary Amber Rudd told the Daily Mail: ‘Ben Emmerson’s suspension is a matter for the independent inquiry, which is continuing its vital work in exposing the failure of public bodies and other organisations to prevent systematic child sexual abuse.

‘Our commitment to this inquiry is undiminished. We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past.’

Emmerson, a founder member of high-profile set Matrix Chambers, specialises in European human rights law, public international law and international criminal law.