Sky: Credit to Lynne over Baby P case

by Stephen Tall on November 14, 2008

Here’s Jon Craig on Sky’s Boulton & Co blog:

Only one person emerges from the Baby P tragedy with credit: the Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone. Throughout this tawdry affair, in which the conduct of Haringey Council – Labour-run since 1971 – has been scandalous and the Government’s response sluggish until after the Brown-Cameron clash, she has campaigned with dignity and determination.

Just moments after that ill-tempered Commons bust-up between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, the Hornsey and Wood Green MP asked the Prime Minister a question in a measured but forthright tone.

As she pointed out, she was leader of the Lib Dem opposition on the council at the time of the Victoria Climbie tragedy and was told lessons would be learned and it would never happen again. Since the horrific disclosures at the Old Bailey earlier this week, she has kept pursuing the local authority and the Government, calling for someone in the council to take responsibility for the appalling incompetence and complacency and for an independent public inquiry.

Lynne Featherstone won her seat from Labour at the 2005 General Election, having contested it in 1997 and 2001. Last year she ran Chris Huhne’s campaign for for the Lib Dem leadership.

After narrowly defeating Huhne, Nick Clegg punished her by appointing her to the relatively low profile post of spokesperson on “youth and equalities”, a waste of her talents. Next time Clegg shuffles his team, he should promote Lynne Featherstone – who has proved she is one of his party’s star performers – to a much more high profile job.

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One point that does really seem to have come out – though it was on R5’s phone in earlier today – is that the court fees for care proceedings have been increased massively.

Previously they were £150 – now are £4,000. It wasn’t a factor in this case as it predated the increase but it’s hard to see how such an increase wouldn’t reduce the number of care applications. (I’m sure I’ve read that there has been a sharp drop in such applications but I can’t source that information immediately)

by Hywel Morgan on November 14, 2008 at 5:56 pm. Reply #

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