The minister for child betrayal
Published in: Daily Mail
When Margaret Hodge was made Minister for Children in June, a lot of people could scarcely believe what was happening.
For it was Mrs Hodge who, as leader of Islington council from 1982 to 1992, spectacularly failed to deal with a paedophile ring abusing children in her council's care. Heavily criticised for presiding over lethal chaos and a climate of intimidation in the town hall , she later tried to pass the buck onto her officials, claiming to have known nothing about the abuse at the time - a version of events her former staff have vehemently contested.
With such a grossly inadequate record in local government, anyone with a smidgin of shame would have quietly bowed out of public life altogether. Making a person with such a history Minister for Children instead was therefore a bit like having the late Robert Maxwell made Governor of the Bank of England.
Aware of the furore over this appointment, Tony Blair was forced to keep his new Minister for Children well away from the launch of his policy designed to protect children from debacles such as the killing of Victoria Climbi