Baby P figures survive motion of no confidence

Two senior councillors involved in the Baby P case survived an attempt to remove them from their posts last night, at a highly charged council meeting in Haringey.

A motion of no confidence in both George Meehan, the leader of Haringey Council, and Liz Santry, its cabinet member for children and young people, had been tabled by the council's Liberal Democrat opposition but was amended by the Labour majority.

The no confidence element was deleted, and replaced with a commitment to act on recommendations of a government-commissioned review on children's services in the borough.

The Baby P case was debated for three hours at the meeting, the first time that the full council had discussed it since the horrific circumstances of his death were made public. Throughout, Ms Santry and other Labour council members were persistently heckled by members of the public.

The Mayor of Haringey, Alan Dobbie, began the meeting by apologising for the events leading up to Baby P's death and led the council in a minute's silence in his memory.

Afterwards, Robert Gorrie, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "How can we rebuild Haringey's shattered reputation if the same people remain in charge?"

Ms Santry said she did not believe a public inquiry was an appropriate course of action, arguing that it would risk dragging out the process of understanding where the failings had been and how they could be put right.

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