Sunday, 25 April 2010

Baby P boss considers launching another appeal for unfair dismissal

You would think that in the wake of the Baby P tragedy that the failed head of social services at Haringey council would be keeping her head down. But no, Sharon Shoesmith, having been sacked for her failings, is now planning to launch an appeal for unfair dismissal.

Sharon Shoestring was removed from her post as head of Haringey social services back in December 2008 by Children's Secretary Ed Balls. She then launched an appeal stating that her removal was unfair, and she was the victim of a witch hunt. This appeal has thankfully been rejected by High Court judge Mr Justice Foskett.

Mr Justice Foskett has stated that it was "too simplistic" to suggest Mr Balls had been driven by "party politics" or had been improperly influenced by media pressure. He expressed concern that Mr Balls was "persuaded to offer his opinion" that Ms Shoesmith be dismissed, but could find no evidence of "improper interference in the Ofsted inspection".

Despite this, she and her legal team are considering launching yet another legal appeal. On what grounds I have no idea.

This woman was responsible for overseeing the social services department at Haringey council during the period when the Baby P tragedy was reported. It was under her watch that a seventeen month old baby was beaten and abused at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger Jason Owen.

This woman clearly has no shame whatsoever. Has she so quickly forgotten that her department missed repeated opportunities to remove Baby P from his abusers? Her failings led to the violent death of a baby. Despite the tragic consequences of her department, she seems far more concerned with pursuing her case for unfair dismissal, in which she will almost certainly receive a large settlement if successful. I am sure that the two are entirely related!

No doubt these legal challenges are costing the tax payer thousands of pounds. Money that could be better served if spent on social services, where it may prevent the repeat of another tragic case such as that of Baby P.

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