National review launched following tragic death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
'We will not rest until we have the answers we need'
The tragic murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes at the hands of his father and stepmother will be the subject of a national review designed to protect children from similar harm, says the government.
On Friday December 3, Arthur's father and stepmother were jailed for life following the torture and killing of their child. It was a heartbreaking and wholly avoidable incident where social workers apparently found "no safeguarding concerns", despite Arthur dying of a head injury in June 2020 while in the care of his stepmother.
It has since been reported that he was poisoned, stabbed and beaten at his home in Solihull, West Midlands.
Arthur's father Thomas Hughes received 21 years for manslaughter while his girlfriend Emma Tustin received 29 years for murder - however there have already been calls to extend their sentencing after suggestions that it was "too low".
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced the new national review early on Sunday December 5, suggesting there was a need for "a single, national review of Arthur's death to identify where we must learn from this terrible case.
"We will not rest until we have the answers we need," he added.
Today's news marks an upgrade from the original review which was launched shortly after Arthur's death earlier this year, with Zahawi urging inspectors in social care, police, health and probation to investigate safeguarding agencies in Solihull where Arthur was known to child services.
Zahawi is expected to deliver a statement regarding Arthur's case and its subsequent review in the house of commons on Monday December 6.
"Arthur's murder has shocked and appalled the nation," the Conservative MP said. "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."
The news comes shortly after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News that "The most vulnerable in our society need to have the maximum protection."
The Department of Education will start work on a publication timeline for the review in the coming days alongside the national panel and the Solihull partnership. This independent review hopes to identify key life lessons that can be learned from Arthur's case to ensure nothing similar occurs in the future.
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