What Solihull Council said about review into death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

A major review has been launched into the circumstances that led to the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

<p>A major review has been launched into the circumstances that led to the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. (picture: PA)</p>

A major review has been launched into the circumstances that led to the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. (picture: PA)

The Government has announced a major review into the circumstances which led to the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The review will aim to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur in the months before he was murdered by stepmother Emma Tustin at their home in Solihull.

The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will lead the review and will provide additional support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to “upgrade” the already existing local review which was launched shortly after Arthur’s death in June 2020.

The Government has also separately commissioned four inspectorates, covering social care, health, police and probation to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.

As part of this inspection, all the agencies tasked with protecting children at risk of abuse and neglect in Solihull will be subject to a Joint Targeted Area Inspection to consider their effectiveness and advise on where improvements must be made.

It had emerged in court that Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

What has the council said about the review?

After Tustin and Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes were both convicted on Friday, the leader of Solihull Council Ian Courts said the council will ‘leave no stone unturned and fix any issues that the independent review finds’.

In the statement, Cllr Courts said: “As Leader of Solihull Council, I am deeply shocked and appalled at the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes at the hands of his father and his partner.

“They have rightly been convicted and given long custodial sentences.”

Solihull Council leader Ian Courts

He continued: “Quite understandably there has been a strong and heartfelt reaction from across our borough and nationally.

“This reaction has focused on Arthur’s father and his partner and also on how we have worked as a safeguarding partnership in Arthur’s tragically short life.

“I am very clear that we will leave no stone unturned to understand, learn and fix any issues that the independent review finds and any further actions that may come about through subsequent reviews and inspections.”

UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said young protesters should not miss school to protest at COP26 in Glasgow (image: Getty Images)

What else the government said about the review?

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Arthur’s murder has shocked and appalled the nation.

“I am deeply distressed by this awful case and the senseless pain inflicted on this poor boy, who has been robbed of the chance to live his life.

“I have taken immediate action and asked for a joint inspection to consider where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting children in Solihull, so that we can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes.

“Given the enormity of this case, the range of agencies involved and the potential for its implications to be felt nationally, I have also asked Annie Hudson, chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, to work with leaders in Solihull to deliver a single, national review of Arthur’s death to identify where we must learn from this terrible case.”

He added: “We are determined to protect children from harm and where concerns are raised we will not hesitate to take urgent and robust action.

“We will not rest until we have the answers we need.”

A targeted area inspection will be also commissioned and led jointly by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Probation.

It will consider what improvements are needed by all agencies who protect vulnerable children in Solihull, including how they work together.

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