Victim campaigners have called for veteran criminal barrister Michael Mansfield QC to lead the inquiry into historic child sexual abuse, after Lady Butler-Sloss stepped down from the role amid controversy.

A petition on website requesting the home secretary Teresa May to appoint Mansfield has attracted 383 signatures in three days.

Author and lecturer Alison Branagan, who started the petition, said: ‘We require an individual who has a track record of holding the establishment to account and that person is barrister Michael Mansfield QC.

‘I do hope this petition encourages his name to be put forward by those within the government who have the authority to do so.’

Mansfield, who describes himself as a ‘radical lawyer’, is the head of Mansfield Chambers in London, which was formed in September 2013 following the dissolution of Tooks Chambers, which he founded in 1984.

Mansfield represented the family of Jean Charles de Menzes, shot dead by the Metropolitan Police in 2005. He is currently representing the families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster and the family of Mark Duggan, shot by police in August 2011.

Mansfield did not want to comment on whether he would accept the position if offered, but said he ‘feels honoured to have been considered’.