Under stairs conversion, can I remove this piece?

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The title pretty much sums this one up, our staircase is next to our living room and it has a plasterboard wall separating it with a small door way to make the area underneath the stairs into a cupboard.
What we'd like to do is remove some of the plasterboard wall to make the area into more usable space (stick the computer under it or similar)

I've had a look under the stairs and the post that is on the upstairs landing (think its called the newel post!?) is poking down a bit inside the area under - see next pic;


Is it safe to saw this back at the bottom so that it's in line with the stairs / stringer so that I'll have a little more 'headroom' and make it easier/neater to plasterboard under the stairs? - see last pic;


Cheers![/img]
 
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yes but leave an inch to 40mm to make sure you don't remove the strength off the mortice
and make sure whats left is fully supported
 

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