Johann Lamont in call for child protection inquiry

A public inquiry is needed into child protection so people can have confidence in the system, Labour leader Johann Lamont has said.

She repeated the demand in the wake of the case of murdered toddler Declan Hainey.

His mother Kimberley Hainey was jailed for life for the crime, along with failing to report his death and concealing the body in her Paisley flat.

Declan’s body was discovered in March 2010 when he would have been 23 months old. Experts said he had been dead for several months.

Ms Lamont raised the case as she called for a full public inquiry into child protection systems across Scotland.

While a significant case review into Declan’s’ death said there were at least 16 points where action was needed, inspectors examining child protection in the area had claimed it was “excellent”, she told the First Minister.

Ms Lamont urged: “Will the First Minister please order a full public inquiry into child protection, not just in Renfrewshire but across Scotland, so the public can have confidence that our systems are protecting the most vulnerable children?”

Alex Salmond told the Labour leader his Government was taking action, bringing forward legislation to “ensure all children’s services have a strong focus on early-years prevention and early intervention”.

He insisted: “We are not in the slightest complacent about the tragedies that have occurred.”

But he said: “The responsibility for wrongdoing and for the most tragic cases does at the end of the day lie with the perpetrator.”