MPs and leaders of opposition parties on Bradford Council have called for leadership changes following the release of a report that paints a "damning picture" of Children's Services and of "shocking" missed opportunities that contributed to the death of Star Hobson.

The national child safeguarding practice review, published on Wednesday, carried out by the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, said that while many failings that played a part in the death of Star Hobson were Bradford-specific, others “reflect wider problems in national child safeguarding practice.”

The review was commissioned after the death of Star, from Keighley, and six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Robbie Moore, MP for Keighley, said: “We have known that Bradford Council are not fit for purpose with regards to protecting our children, and the evidence in this report lays this bare.

"The decision by the Government to strip Bradford Council of their responsibility for Children’s Services earlier this year was entirely the correct decision, and as acknowledged by the report, this decision just highlights ‘the scale and depth of systemic problems in Children’s Services in Bradford’.

"It is simply not enough for the Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe and the Chief Executive to have both apologised for what has happened.

"For the sake of getting proper positive change for all within the Bradford district including Keighley, they must give way and resign their positions for more capable individuals.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “This report highlights serious failings within Bradford Council which culminated in the awful death of Star Hobson - something which should never have been allowed to happen. This must never be allowed to happen again.

“There is much talk this week about people at the top considering their position because of serious failings on their watch. I wonder if the Leader and Chief Executive of Bradford Council will be considering their positions as a result of this report, or whether they believe that the responsibility does not lie with them.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, said: “The murder of Star Hobson was truly horrific. The many missed opportunities to protect her, from before she was born up to her death, are shocking and inexcusable. Star and those who loved her were let down.

"Lessons must be learned, and changes must be made. The systems designed to protect her were not good enough. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said: “This report is deeply concerning. It highlights some very serious failings and I am resolutely clear that much more needs to be done to address them.

“Ultimately, no child should ever be placed in danger and there is a responsibility on us all to keep them from coming to harm.

“I, therefore, welcome the appointment of a new, experienced chair of the Bradford Children's Company Trust to help drive improvements to children’s services in Bradford.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Cllr Matt Edwards, Leader of the Green Party locally, said: “The report paints another damning picture of how Children’s Services have been run in Bradford. We know Bradford has not been able to deliver effective children’s social care for years, with Ofsted rating it inadequate since 2018.

“In my view, the over-dependency on agency workers and an inability to retain experienced staff demonstrate a failure of management within the Children’s Service and we need to see this addressed urgently.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It is clear from this report that before she was born, Star was at risk. Too many processes let Star and her worker down.

“Every single report in Bradford’s Children’s Services said leadership and management were poor. People were and are not up to the job.

“The truth is that the leadership of Bradford Council is letting children down.

“No amount of spin or bids to be the Capital of Culture or capital of anything else can hide that shame."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Cllr Rebecca Poulsen, Leader of the Conservative Group said: “My colleagues and I recognise that the contents of the report will cause much distress to those who loved and tried to protect Star and Arthur and our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.

"We are often told when safeguarding reviews are published that there are “historic failings” and learnings have already been made and changes implemented. How is the leadership of the council going to take ownership of these appalling failings?”


Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01274 705292.