Arthur Labinjo-Hughes tragedy must not be forgotten amid Boris Johnson scandals – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Doug Clark, Skipton.
Arthur Labinjo-HughesArthur Labinjo-Hughes
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

THE tragic story of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the boy who was murdered by his stepmother, has quickly disappeared from the news, buried under the avalanche of more obvious governmental incompetence and corruption (Rob Potts, The Yorkshire Post, December 10).

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It is worth pointing out that in 2010 the Tories inherited a Department for Children, Schools and Families, which had a remit of encouraging all professionals working with children to work together to ensure that young people’s health, happiness and education improved. It was headed by Ed Balls in the Brown government.

Boris Johnson is now under pressure over multiple sleaze scandals.Boris Johnson is now under pressure over multiple sleaze scandals.
Boris Johnson is now under pressure over multiple sleaze scandals.

They also inherited the Building Schools for the Future programme, which was part way through rebuilding huge numbers of schools, and included accommodation on school sites for social services and other agencies working with young people. Within days of taking office, they had rebranded the DCSF to the Department for Education, and within weeks they scrapped the BSF programme.

According to the charity Action for Children, the budget for children’s services has been reduced by 23 per cent since 2010, and over the same period the demand has increased. Doubtless there will be a far reaching and expensive investigation into Arthur’s death, and the finger of blame will probably be pointed at some overworked social work department, rather than the politicians who reduced the resources and made it more difficult for the authorities to protect him.

Over the years there have been many similar cases to Arthur’s, and no subsequent investigation has ever recommended making it harder for people working with children to work together, or that the budget for children’s services should be cut, yet that is what this government has done for 11 years.

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People are right to be angry about clandestine Downing Street parties going on during lockdown, but Arthur is a far bigger tragedy and they are just as culpable.

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