Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Measures to Curb Child Abuse Delayed by the Hodge Furore; CHILD SEX ABUSE NEW SETBACK BRINGS MORE PRESSURE ON MINISTER TO QUIT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Measures to Curb Child Abuse Delayed by the Hodge Furore; CHILD SEX ABUSE NEW SETBACK BRINGS MORE PRESSURE ON MINISTER TO QUIT

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY

NEW measures to protect children from abuse are being delayed because of the Margaret Hodge furore.

Downing Street is preparing to cancel the planned launch this month of the long-awaited shake-up in response to the Victoria Climbie tragedy.

The wide-ranging proposals have already been drawn up - but ministers fear they will be overshadowed by the row over children's minister Mrs Hodge's failure to act effectively against child abuse in Islington when she was council leader. No decision has yet been taken on how long the Green Paper may be delayed.

It has already been held back since February and was further delayed to allow Mrs Hodge to "read in" when she was appointed Minister for Children three weeks ago. It contains proposals for a major shake-up of child protection systems and is thought to announce the creation of a children's commissioner to act as "champion" for young people.

The policies were drawn up in response to Lord Laming's inquiry into the death of eight-year-old Victoria, killed by her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend in 2000.

Shadow children's minister Eleanor Laing said the postponement showed Mrs Hodge was not capable of doing her job because of her record at Islington. …

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