Shoesmith in line for compensation
Former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith is in line for compensation estimated at up to £1 million after judges rejected applications to challenge a ruling that she was unfairly sacked following the Baby P tragedy.
The Supreme Court decision sparked a call for an urgent change in the law from former children's secretary Ed Balls, who removed Ms Shoesmith as Haringey Council's director of children's services after a damning report on the death of Peter Connolly.
Mr Balls warned that the ruling will make it harder for ministers to act swiftly to protect children in future.
The Department for Education said it was "very disappointed" at the decision and insisted that the Government still believes Ms Shoesmith's removal was "right in principle".
Ms Shoesmith's career was left in ruins after she was removed from her £133,000-a-year post by Mr Balls and then fired by the north London council without compensation in December 2008, after a report from regulator Ofsted exposed how her department had failed to protect 17-month-old Peter - then known publicly as Baby P.
Her lawyers argued that she was the victim of "a flagrant breach of natural justice" fuelled by a media witch-hunt. And in May, the Appeal Court concluded she was unfairly sacked because Mr Balls and Haringey did not give her a proper chance to put her case before her removal.
The Department for Education and Haringey sought permission to attempt to overturn the ruling in the Supreme Court, but a court spokesman said that their applications had been refused.
The decision clears the way for Ms Shoesmith to receive compensation which employment law expert Philip Henson, of City firm Bargate Murray, has predicted could total as much as £1 million.
Ms Shoesmith's lawyers, Beachcroft, said they were "pleased" at the ruling, and were discussing its implications with her.
But Mr Balls said he was "very surprised and concerned" and urged the Government to consider changing the law to clarify ministers' powers.