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Sharon Shoesmith gives her side

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Sharon Shoesmith says she chose to stay at Haringey LBC to deal with the Baby P crisis despite being headhunted for chief executive jobs.

Ms Shoesmith also said that when the storm over the council’s handling of the 17-month-old’s death showed no signs of abating, she offered to leave the authority by mutual consent.

But the move was overtaken by Children’s Secretary Ed Ball’s decision to use statutory powers to remove her from her job on December 1.

Speaking in The Guardian, Ms Shoesmith admitted the authority had made errors in media briefings after the conviction of the toddler’s mother and two men for causing or allowing his death.

But she said Mr Balls had been heavy-handed in his handling of the problems at Haringey’s children’s services department, which she felt was unduly criticised.

“It’s a huge travesty for Haringey and if there's anything I want to say it's that they deserve much better than this, because I know who the people are and how they've worked and how they've achieved, and it just has been deeply reckless, breathtakingly reckless,” she said.

“I don't think people really understood quite what the potential impact could be. And now you've got this, a local tragedy and a national catastrophe."

Ms Shoesmith added that she had considered taking her own life as she was hounded by the press in the runup to her sacking.

She said police had even advised her to keep away from the edges of platforms on the London Underground, out of fears that she may be in danger of being pushed under a train by fanatical members of the public.

Other Baby P reports on LGCplus

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