Friday, 16 May 2008

John Hemming MP's psychologist comments 'outrageous and unfounded', says judge

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An MP made "outrageous" allegations against the integrity of a consultant clinical psychologist, the Court of Appeal has decided. Lords Justices Thorpe and Wall dismissed as "unfounded" a claim by John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, that the expert was "in the pay of" a local authority that was seeking to take a child into care. "Mr Hemming's allegation that [the psychologist] is part of an 'evil' system only warrants comment because it comes from a Member of Parliament, and thus from a person in a responsible public position whom one ought to be able to trust only to make serious allegations when they are based on evidence," Lord Justice Wall said. "I am astonished that somebody in Mr Hemming's position should have seen fit to put such a disgraceful allegation into the public domain. I reject it unreservedly." The story begins two years ago, when a woman of 21 gave birth to a premature baby, born at about 27 weeks. The mother had not realised she was pregnant until shortly before the birth. Her baby, known as KP, was born with "very many serious medical conditions" requiring skilled management. The mother, referred to as RP, has a "significant learning disability". According to the psychologist, RP's limitations "are too extensive to allow her to parent KP successfully on her own".

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