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Ministers warned over Haringey failings

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Haringey LBC is coming under increasing pressure following the death of Baby P with reports that ministers had been warned the local authority was failing to protect children.

Media reports indicate that lawyers for a former Haringey social worker warned ministers in February 2007 that children from a 2004 case were returned to a home where they had been abused.

According to The Guardian, Whitehall officials confirmed there had been correspondence between the Department of Health, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), and the commission for social care inspectorate over the case.

The initial letter had been sent to the then health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, and two other health ministers, but these letters were then passed to the DCSF just before the 2007 election.

The local MP David Lamy was also said to have been contacted.

The paper says that DCSF then passed the letter that child abuse claims were still likely in Haringey "to the relevant Inspectorate the Commission for Social Care Inspection, to take appropriate action".

Baby P's mother, her boyfriend, and another man were convicted at the Old Bailey this week of allowing, or causing the death, of the 17-month-old boy. The trial heard that the child had been abused during a period of regular visits from health and social workers.

Meanwhile, Lynne Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat MP whose constituency includes Haringey, said the council's apology two days after the end of the court case apology was "very late in coming".

She demanded the resignation of the council's leader and lead councillor for children's services, Sharon Shoesmith, Haringey's head of children's services.

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