MP Robert Goodwill on why he congratulated council's children's services five months before toddler's death

MP Robert Goodwill.
MP Robert Goodwill.

The MP for Scarborough and Whitby has justified the action taken by the government in relation to the murder of a two-year-old boy.

Dylan Tiffin-Brown, from Northamptonshire, was killed by his father two years ago.

Yet, only five months before, in July 2017, the Department for Education lifted a supervision order on the county council's children's services and then-education minister MP Robert Goodwill wrote a letter to the local authority congratulating them on their hard work and improvements made.

A recent review found that at the time the county council's children's protection department was inefficient and in chaos.

Talking about the decision taken by the department to hand back control of the services to Northamptonshire County Council, Mr Goodwill said they had "no option" but to do so.

He said: "The Department for Education steps in when children's services are rated inadequate by Ofsted and when services in this part of the country were rated inadequate the government intervened by taking control."

However, according to the MP, when Ofsted later rated the children's protection department as 'requiring improvements', control had to be handed back to the local authority.

"Our judgement at the time was in line with the Ofsted recommendations," he added, "we cannot take services into interventions when they're not inadequate."

Recent reviews found Northamptonshire County Council missed chances to protect the two-year-old boy.

There are now calls for its children's services leader, Matt Golby, to resign.