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19th Jan, 2022

Review of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes death to begin next week

Sarah Mason 7th Dec, 2021

A NATIONAL review into the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will begin next week, says the education minister.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday (December 6) Nadhim Zahawi said he was determined to uncover what went wrong and take action to protect children.

He pledged the investigation would be underway within the week and terms of reference and timelines would follow.

Emma Tustin delivered a fatal blow to the six-year-old at her Cranmore Road home, in Shirley last June.

On Friday, she was jailed for 29 years for murder, while Arthur’s father, Thomas Hughes, was jailed for 21 for manslaughter.

The pair were also convicted of various counts of child cruelty against Arthur, who was covered in more than 130 bruises when he died and had high sodium levels in his body from salt poising.

Mr Zahawi said: “We across this House and across this country find it impossible to imagine how any adult could commit such evil acts against a child in particular parents and carers to whom children look to for love and protection.

“No government anywhere in the world can legislate for evil, but we will take action wherever we can to stop it from happening again because we must do more.”

He confirmed both a national review and “targeted area” inspection to assess why things went “horrifyingly wrong and what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again”.

The area inspections will involve a number of agencies including Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to allow the review to “truly look at where improvements are needed” by all parties “tasked with protecting children in the Solihull area”, Mr Zahawi explained.

The trial, held at Coventry Crown Court heard that Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before he died, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

Solihull MP, Julian Knight asked Mr Zahawi to confirm the investigations would “proceed without fear nor favour and that at the end of it we will know clearly and publicly who failed Arthur and how he was failed”.

The Conservative MP said: “At the very least, we owe it to Arthur that every lesson from this horrific tragedy is learned and no town has its heart broken like Solihull’s heart.”

Mr Zahawi said the review will go wherever it needed to.

Meriden MP, Saqib Bhatti, also welcomed the investigation.

The Conservative MP added: “I completely also agree on the Attorney General’s review of the sentencing and I have to admit many times over the last few days I’ve thought they should lock them up and throw away the key.”

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