Fran Lyon moves to John Hemming’s patch in bid to keep baby

Fran Lyon, the pregnant woman at the heart of a controversial child protection case, has moved to the constituency of campaigning MP John Hemming in a bid to keep her baby.

Hemming said that Lyon’s move from Hexham in Northumberland to his Birmingham Yardley constituency would help him use parliamentary procedure to probe the child protection case initiated by Northumberland Council against her.

But her move means Birmingham Council children’s services has now initiated investigations into the welfare of her unborn child, due in January.

Lyon told the Daily Mail Northumberland Council intended to take her baby into care minutes after the birth because it was felt she was likely to fabricate or induce illness in her child – a condition often known as Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.

Hemming, a high-profile critic of child protection practice across parts of local government but still a Birmingham councillor, said he did not know whether the authority would treat her case any differently. He added: “I can’t guarantee that. They have to come to their own conclusions. I would expect them to be rational in their behaviour.”

In September, in a piece published in Community Care, Lyon said Northumberland children’s services began inquiries following “a difficult incident with my ex where I needed to call the police”, earlier in her pregnancy. She said she was diagnosed with borderline personal at 15, but this diagnosis was removed at 18.

A Northumberland Council spokesperson said it was unable to comment on Lyon’s case, but pointed to the fact Ofsted had rated its safeguarding function as good in the council’s joint area review earlier this year. The spokesperson added it would “make sure the new authority has all the information it needs to make informed decisions”.

A Birmingham Council spokesperson said: “We have received a referral letter from another local authority. We will take account of all relevant decisions and work closely with the family before making any decisions.”

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