Page last updated at 04:31 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 05:31 UK

'Questions remain' in Baby P case

Baby Peter
Baby Peter was on Haringey Council's child protection register when he died

Serious questions remain over the circumstances which led to the death of Baby Peter and the processes in place to protect him, an MP has said.

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone, whose constituency includes Haringey in north London, said she was "deeply concerned" problems remained.

Peter died on 3 August 2007, aged 17 months, with 50 injuries despite being on a child protection register.

Haringey Council said it was committed to a "transformation" in child welfare.

At the time of his death, Peter, who was initially known only as Baby P, was on Haringey's child protection register and social services, doctors and police had made repeated visits to his home.

'Evil cruelty'

Miss Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: "This is a sad time when we remember a tragedy that should never have happened.

"Those people involved in the evil cruelty that led to Baby Peter's death have been punished, but I am still deeply concerned about Haringey's children's services that failed to protect him."

She added: "Why were whistleblowers ignored? Why did inspectors give Haringey Council a clean bill of health only months after Baby Peter's death?

"But ultimately, the most important question and the one I asked the prime minister that still remains unanswered - what assurances can we have that another child won't slip through the cracks in Haringey?"

Peter's 27-year-old mother was given an indefinite sentence with a minimum term of five years at the Old Bailey in May after pleading guilty to causing or allowing her son's death.

His legacy must be the transformation of child welfare in the borough - everyone is committed to making that happen
Claire Kober
Haringey's new council leader

Her boyfriend, aged 32, was given a 12-year sentence for his role in Peter's death. He was also jailed for life with a minimum term of 10 years for the rape of a two-year-old girl.

The head of children's services in Haringey was sacked, as were a social worker and three managers.

Haringey's child protection services were condemned as "inadequate" in a damning report commissioned by the government.

Last month inspectors warned that Haringey was still not protecting all vulnerable children from abuse.

New council leader Claire Kober has pledged to "transform" child welfare in the borough.

She said: "Baby Peter's death was a tragedy that could and should have been prevented.

"We have apologised unreservedly for the shortcomings in our child protection service which failed him so badly.

"His legacy must be the transformation of child welfare in the borough. Everyone is committed to making that happen."



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