Laming inquiry `not independent enough`

The lawyer behind high-profile child death inquiries in the
1980s has questioned the suitability of Herbert Laming and his team
of assessors to lead a truly independent inquiry into the death of
Victoria Climbie.

Lord Laming, who is a former social services director and former
social services inspectorate chief inspector, has selected a team
of advisers whose backgrounds encompass the police service, the
health service, social services and child protection services.

But Louis Blom-Cooper QC, who led inquiries into the deaths of
Kimberley Carlile in 1986 and Jasmine Beckford in 1984, told the
‘PM’ programme on Radio 4 last week that the statutory inquiry into
death last year of the eight-year-old who died from neglect while
in the care of her great aunt and great aunt’s boyfriend must be
conducted “independently and impartially”.

But he added: “The question of whether the constitution of this
public inquiry satisfies that criteria is for others to judge.”

However, speaking at the official launch of the inquiry, Lord
Laming went to great lengths to stress the inquiry’s independence
and openness.



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