Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

"I Do Not Believe That the Minister Has Understood All the Arguments Put Forward for an Inquiry or the Strength of Local Opinion on This Matter. the Campaign Goes On."

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

"I Do Not Believe That the Minister Has Understood All the Arguments Put Forward for an Inquiry or the Strength of Local Opinion on This Matter. the Campaign Goes On."

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Jacobs

Exactly how baby Aaron O'Neil met his tragic end will never be revealed.

Despite thousands of you demanding a public inquiry into the scandal, one woman has said no.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has rejected calls for a full public inquiry into Aaron's death.

The Chronicle launched our Answers for Aaron campaign with Newcastle MP Doug Henderson after shocking failings in the care of the 92-day-old baby at the hands of his evil father.

And almost five thousand of you signed our petition.

Today Mr Henderson accused Mrs Kelly of not understanding the case for an inquiry and underestimating the strength of feeling locally.

Now he is seeking a Commons debate.

Mr Henderson wrote to Mrs Kelly and Children's Minister Beverley Hughes calling for a public inquiry, saying an independent review of the circumstances by Catherine Weightman was not adequate.

But now Mrs Hughes has written back on behalf of Mrs Kelly and said she does not feel it is required.

But even in the letter the minister admits mistakes were made.

Aaron, just three months, was killed by his father Paul O'Neil after a horrific catalogue of abuse, including holding his face to an electric fire at the family home in Kenton, Newcastle.

In February, O'Neil, 33, was jailed for 22 years for the murder while Aaron's mother Jodie Taylor, 21, was jailed for three and a half years for neglect.

The social workers covering the case were unaware of a previous record of abuse by O'Neil and on several occasions failed to get into the house.

Mr Henderson said: "I do not believe the Minister has understood all the arguments put forward for an inquiry or the strength of local opinion on this matter.

"I have, therefore, applied for an adjournment debate in the House of Commons so that all the circumstances and issues can be raised in Parliament."

Newcastle Central MP Jim Cousins said: "I will be fully in support of Doug Henderson about this."

Mrs Hughes told Mr Henderson: "I would like to reiterate how saddened I was to hear of Aaron O'Neil's death and the circumstances surrounding it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.