Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

Balls orders child safety review

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 12 November 2008

After acrimonious Commons exchanges between Gordon Brown and David Cameron, Ed Balls orders a review into Haringey children's services.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls said the review would involve an "urgent and thorough inspection of the quality of practice and management of all services which contribute to the effective safeguarding of children" in the north London borough.

And he announced the director of children's services in Hampshire, John Coughlan, has been drafted in to work alongside his counterpart in Haringey to ensure proper procedures for safeguarding children are in place and are being properly applied.

Mr Balls said: "The case of Baby P is tragic and appalling. It is our duty to take whatever action is needed to ensure that such a tragedy doesn't happen again, that lessons are learned and that children in Haringey are safe."

Earlier, David Cameron began his first question at PMQs by saying "before turning to the economy." He never returned to the subject.

In a heated exchange over the process to investigate the death of a 17-month-old baby in Haringey, David Cameron demanded that the prime minister retract the suggestion that he was using the case to score political points.

Cameron started by asking about the local review into the actions of social services, saying "Does the prime minister agree with me that the Haringey enquiry is completely unacceptable? Does the prime minister agree with me she [the council's director of children's services] cannot possible investigate the failure of her own department?"

After a debate where Gordon Brown outlined a national independent inquiry, carried out by Lord Laming who carried out the review following the death of Victoria Climbie under the same authority.

However, the debate became more fierce after Gordon Brown said "I do regret making a party political issue of this, because I think the whole country shares the outrage, the whole country wants to see action and the whole country will support the action which is taken both nationally and in relation to Haringey."

Cameron responded by calling the remark "cheap" and asking for it to be withdrawn.

He then angrily started his next question with "You accuse me of party politics about this" - a comment he then apologised to the speaker for not referring to the prime minister in the third person as is custom in House of Commons debates.

The speaker of the house had to step in three times during the debate to call for order as jeering in the house interrupted both Brown and Cameron.

Three people were convicted yesterday for the death of the baby, and Haringey council's child protection teams saw the boy's family 60 times in the eight months before he died.

Send this article by email

More on this story

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest Domestic politics news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Cartoon coalition


How Channel 4 News viewers picture the coalition in cartoon form

Token candidate?

Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott (credit:Getty Images)

Diane Abbott: I am the genuine move-on candidate for Labour

'Mr Ordinary'

Andy Burnham, Getty images

Andy Burnham targets Labour's 'ordinary' person.

Iraq inquiry: day by day

Tony Blair mask burnt during protest outside the Iraq inquiry. (Credit: Getty)

Keep track of Sir John Chilcot's Iraq war findings day by day.

The Freedom Files

Freedom Files

Revealed: the stories they didn't want to tell.

Making a FoI request?

Channel 4 News tells you how to unearth information.

Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.