The Bramley Affair: A case that gripped Britain

The Pundits
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Mark Lawson, The Guardian: "Although they are effectively hostage- takers, the Bramleys have had the luck to be seen as love terrorists, fighters for family freedom... Short of announcing Saddam Hussein was seeking to conscript their children into the Republican Guard, no English parent could have picked an enemy more likely to win you friends than the social services."

Nicci Gerrard, The Observer: "In this wretched affair we glimpse a portrait of modern Britain, in which a dysfunctional family, the shameless and hypocritical media and the cornered social services compete for the sympathy of the public and the lives of two sweet-faced girls, effectively ruining their futures."

Norman Tebbit, The Mail on Sunday: "I think Ms Liz Railton, the director of Cambridgeshire's department [of social services] deserves a word or two of praise... I admire her for putting the welfare of the children first and her dignity second."

Melanie Phillips, The Sunday Times: "The council has now said the decision will be left to the courts. But ... social services departments are notoriously unwilling to promote adoption, preferring to keep control through fostering placements. Adoption has become politically incorrect. ...The whole system is a mess of professional malevolence and incompetence."

Ann Treneman, The Independent: "Everyone...believes what they are doing is for `the sake of the children'... This is misleading... Jade is five. Hannah is three. They did not write this letter. [To the media begging to be allowed to stay together]. Grown ups wrote this letter, just as grown ups created this mess."