§ Mr. Devlin
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will propose the enactment into law of principles 2, 6 and 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1959, which relate to parental rights and responsibilities to their children;
(2) whether he will introduce legislation to replace the place of safety order with an emergency order with a return date of less than seven days, and with strict undertakings given by the applying authority to award damages if wrongly given;
(3) if he will bring forward legislation giving every parent an automatic right to a second medical opinion of their choice in any procedure which may result in the removal of their child;
(4) what safeguards for parents he intends to introduce into legislation as a result of the Butler-Sloss report on child abuse in Cleveland;
(5) whether he will introduce legislation making parents parties in all proceedings relating to their children;
(6) whether he will introduce legislation to ensure that all applications relating to the removal of children from their parents will be made to a judge.
§ Mr. Newton
I refer my hon. Friend to my statement to the House on 6 July at columns 1061–63 about Lord Justice Butler-Sloss's report of her inquiry into the handling of suspected child abuse in Cleveland. This referred specifically to new rights and safeguards for parents. The Government are considering what modifications should be made to their proposals for legislation in the light of the report, and will also consider those of my hon. Friend's points not provided for in the 1987 White Paper.