Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston Birmingham said, "Like everyone who followed Arthur's case, I was horrified to hear of the abuse he suffered which led to his murder. As a former front line children's services manager in Birmingham, this case really affected me because we would not ordinarily have such detail of the abuse. The CCTV, voice recordings and messages paint a picture of Arthur’s world. Nothing can bring him back and I wish more could have been done to save his precious life.  

"It angers me when I think of all the services the Government have cut. We need to have an honest conversation on what this means for our most vulnerable children. Services are stretched to the absolute limit particularly early years which provided vital support to many families.

"However, we must learn the lessons from this case. Arthur was under Solihull council which is why I wrote to Birmingham Children's Trust at the outset to ask them exactly what action they were taking in respect of those children who had not returned to school during Covid. What work they were doing with schools to identify the cohort of children who have been absent for long periods or not returned at all. It’s also unclear what advice the DFE provided to schools in respect of those children that had not returned to school. 

"It is vital that we get answers to these important questions, and I will now also be asking how many children that have been absent from school, have had a home visit and have been seen alone if appropriate? 

"No one should have to endure the abuse and torture that Arthur went through. We know that a wave of domestic abuse has been cast in the shadow of the pandemic, and we must recognise that children are victims too."

ENDS

A copy of the letter sent to the Chief Executive of Birmingham Children's Trust can be seen in the above image.