Shoesmith wins green light for new appeal over sacking

Sharon Shoesmith has been given leave to appeal over her sacking as Haringey's director of children's services after the death of Baby P.

Sharon Shoesmith has been given leave to appeal against Ed Balls, former children’s secretary, and Haringey Council over her sacking as Haringey’s director of children’s services after the death of Baby P.

According to reports, Shoesmith’s claim for costs made against her has been reduced to just £15,000.

“We are pleased that the Judge has made a substantial order for costs against Ofsted and in favour of our client and has also made an order for costs in favour of our client against Haringey Council, the Judge declaring that our client ‘won’ and that Haringey ‘lost’ on the issue of fairness,” a spokesperson for Shoesmith’s lawyer said.

“We are also pleased that the judge granted our client permission to appeal against his decisions relating to the Secretary of State and Haringey, the judge accepting in relation to the Secretary of State that it was ‘by no means fanciful that the Court of Appeal may differ from [his] view’ and in relation to Haringey that his decision was one ‘where views on the legal conclusions could differ’.”

The spokesperson said lawyers were considering whether Shoesmith should ask the Court of Appeal to grant permission to appeal the Judge’s decisions in respect of Ofsted.

In April, the High Court rejected Shoesmith’s claim that she had been sacked unlawfully. Mr Justice Foskett has now said, however, that Shoesmith can take her case to the Court of Appeal.

Shoesmith was sacked by a panel of councillors on 8 December 2008, following furore over the case of Peter Connelly, who was abused by his mother, step-father and step-father’s brother and found dead in his cot in August 2007.

Nearly a year later, in October 2009, judicial review proceedings were issued on behalf of Shoesmith against Ofsted, Ed Balls and Haringey Council.

While the judge ruled against Shoesmith, he strongly criticised Ofsted’s role in the case, particularly over its failure to disclose key documents until after the hearing had closed. He also questioned the role of Ed Balls, then children’s secretary, in the sacking of Shoesmith.

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