North West Evening Mail Relaunches #justiceforpoppi Campaign

The North West Evening Mail has relaunched its campaign calling for Home Secretary Amber Rudd to order an independent inquiry into the alleged failings surrounding the death of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington following the verdict of the inquest.

An article in the Evening Mail announcing the relaunch stated: “We must know how exactly this case was allowed to be so catastrophically mishandled, so that similar tragedies can never happen again here or anywhere else in this country.”

Cumbrian Police chief constable Jerry Graham issued a full apology for the way the case had been handled. The Mail’s campaign has received the backing of Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock.

Responding to the coroner’s verdict into Poppi’s death, Mr Woodcock said: “That little girl will probably never get justice because of grotesque failings into the police investigation into her death but we owe it to her to campaign for a public inquiry that can expose all that is rotten in the system that has led us to this terrible day.

“It is hard to overstate our community’s anger at seeing an officer found responsible for gross incompetence able to keep a job in the force before retiring. This is not accountability.

“I am today writing to the Home Secretary to demand she establishes a public inquiry that will examine the following:

  • Safeguards to ensure gross negligence in a criminal investigation can never again be allowed to place communities at risk;
  • Changes to policing to strengthen accountability and prevent negligent officers from retiring to escape scrutiny;
  • The decision by Cumbria police to offer an officer found guilty of gross incompetence an alternative senior role in the force rather than dismissing her;
  • Changes to strengthen guidance on social care protection for the children of parents who have previously had a child taken into permanent care;
  • The required level investment in our public services to deliver these changes.”

Following a meeting between the Home Secretary and John Woodcock, Mr Woodcock told the Evening Mail: “Mrs Rudd pledged to consider urgently what steps she can take in the light of [the] verdict and asked me to work with her Home Office team to try to make any action she takes as effective as possible.

“Ministers always stress they cannot direct the Crown Prosecution Service who we are praying will look at the case in a fresh light following the coroner’s verdict, but the Home Secretary can act to help restore confidence in our policing system which has been badly damaged by this terrible affair.”