Commissioner to assess Bradford Council following death of toddler Star Hobson

The 16-month-old was seen by social services and the police several times in the months leading up to her death in September last year. Credit: ITV Calendar

A commissioner will look into the capability and capacity of Bradford Council following the "utterly catastrophic" death of toddler Star Hobson, the Prime Minister has announced.

Addressing MPs today, Boris Johnson warned that the government will not hesitate to remove powers from services if this is deemed necessary for improvements to be made in light of the murder of Star.

The 16-month-old was seen by social services and the police several times in the months leading up to her death in September last year, after various friends and family members raised concerns.

The last time they visited was just three weeks before her death from "unsurvivable" injuries, caused by her mum's partner Savannah Brockhill.

A report on the findings into Star's death is due to be published in January, which will feed into the one on the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in Solihull.

"We will not hesitate to remove service control if that is what is necessary", said Boris Johnson. Credit: PA Images

The council has been accused of letting the family down by Star's great-grandfather David Fawcett.

He said: "It's like they've done their job, but it's half-heartedly. They've not sort of followed it through and thought that there might be more to this."

Star's former babysitter, Hollie Jones, also raised concerns, and told ITV News she feels Star would still have been here today if her warnings had been taken seriously.

In a statement, Bradford Metropolitan Council said it deeply regrets that not all the 'warning signs were seen' that could have led to firmer statutory enforcement action.

The Bradford Partnership, which includes the agencies which had contact with Star during her short life, said: "We need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect Star were missed."

Bradford Council leader, Susan Hinchliffe, said Star was “let down”, while Keighley and Ilkley Tory MP Robbie Moore said Bradford Council leaders should “hang their heads in shame” and resign.

"In recent weeks, two high profile cases where young children have been killed by the very people who should have loved and cared for them most have shone a light on the child protection system," said Steve Crocker, Vice President, Association of Directors of Children's Services.

"National and local learning reviews are ongoing, and we all have a duty to ensure these horrendous cases produce lasting learning for the greater good."