Official inquiry into Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death to start next week

The murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has prompted a major national inquiry by the Government into the failings that led to his death.

Tragic Arthur was killed after being subjected to torture by his dad and "evil" stepmum before suffering fatal head injuries and being poisoned with a huge dose of salt, Coventry Crown Court heard.

He was found with at least 130 bruises on his body when he died in June 2020.

Family members looked to raise the alarm to social services after Arthur’s paternal grandmother Joanne Hughes called them but they found “no safeguarding concerns”.

Arthur’s uncle also phoned police to tell them there was a problem but was warned himself over breaching Covid lockdown rules if he visited his grandson in Birmingham.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi spoke of the steps of the major investigation in the House of Commons today (Monday).

The inquiry will be to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with him in the months before he died.

Four areas – social care, health, police and probation – are set to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.

Speaking at the House of Commons today, Mr Zahawi confirmed a national investigation into the death of Arthur will begin next week with terms of reference and timelines to follow.

  • Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ gran hits out at killer step-mum and says 'I have failed'

Mr Zahawi added: "Since the horrendous deaths of Peter Connelly, Daniel Pelka and, sadly, others, the government has established stronger multi-agency working, putting a shared and equal duty on police, councils and health in local areas to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, alongside a role for schools.

"I am sure members across the House will recognise that improvements have been made from previous reviews, but the question now is whether that is enough."

The Department for Education said their own review would focus on a Joint Targeted Area Inspection, led by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, and HM Inspectorate of Probation.

  • Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' murderous step-mum attacked with salt in prison

Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted of the murder of the six-year-old and her partner, Arthur's father Thomas Hughes, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Tustin was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 29 years, while Hughes was sentenced to 21 years.

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) confirmed on Saturday Tustin and Hughes' sentences are going to be reviewed.

The news of the inquiry follows on from Justice Secretary Dominic Raab confirming to Sky News on Sunday that the incident would be looked into at an independent national level so they can see “what lessons we can learn”.

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The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will lead the review, which will follow on from the existing local review which was launched shortly after Arthur’s death.

The sickening case has shocked the nation as footage revealed the tragic condition of Arthur being unable to even pick up his duvet as other video clips showed Tustin and Hughes eating ice cream.

Over the weekend, a number of football fans paid tribute to Arthur at grounds across the country by applauding the boy in the sixth minute with some putting a photo of him on the big screen.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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