Government probe launched into tragic death of six-year-old Arthur

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Nadhim Zahawi yesterday promised that ministers would “not rest until we have the answers we need” to prevent similar cases of appalling child abuse.

Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was last week found guilty of murdering the youngster at their home in Solihull,West Midlands, last year.

Tustin, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years.

The youngster’s father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

Mr Zahawi yesterday confirmed that the Department for Education would lead a review into the circumstances leading to the youngster’s death to determine what improvements were needed at the agencies involved.

He said: “Arthur’s murder has shocked and appalled the nation.

“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 we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes. 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.

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“We are determined to protect children from harm, and where concerns are raised we will not hesitate to take urgent action.We will not rest until we have the answers we need.”

The Review Panel will provide support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to “upgrade” the existing local review, which was launched shortly after Arthur’s death in June 2020.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has backed a review by Attorney General Suella Braverman into Tustin’s and Hughes’ sentences following complaints they were too lenient.

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