Council says sorry over Baby P's death

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The Independent Online

The council criticised over Baby P's death apologised today for failing to do more to protect him.

The 17-month-old boy died in a blood-spattered cot in August last year despite 60 visits from the authorities over eight months, during which time he suffered more than 50 injuries.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls has ordered an urgent inquiry into child welfare services provided by Haringey Council in north London, the same local authority heavily criticised over the death of Victoria Climbie eight years ago.

Liz Santry, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said staff had gone through a "huge amount of anguish" since Baby P's death 15 months ago.

She told Sky News: "We are truly sorry that we did not do more to protect him."

The full text of a statement about the Baby P case made today by Liz Santry says:

"On behalf of Haringey Council I would like to say how deeply saddened I am about the death of Baby P.

"This is a really tragic occurrence and the circumstances of his death are really dreadful.

"He died over 15 months ago, and for those past 15 months in Haringey there has been a huge amount of anguish, and endless discussion about what more we might have done to save this little boy.

"I have to say that we are truly sorry that we did not do more to protect him.

"Our duty is to protect our children. We did not do so in this instance and I would like to say how truly sorry we are.

"The Government has arranged for inspectors to come into Haringey.

"They are arriving this afternoon and we absolutely welcome their arrival. We will do everything we can to be open and cooperative with them and the conclusions that they reach we will implement swiftly and comprehensively.

"We want to do everything we possibly can to make our child protection procedures as strong as possible.

"What I hope to do is that we will wait until the end of the review, in two weeks' time, and until we know the outcome I will rule nothing in and nothing out.

"I reiterate how very sad and distressed we are about the death of Baby P."