Many blame the failings identified in the Ofsted report on a merger of adults’ services and children’s services in 2013 under Rahman.Mr Tuckley said in April: ‘Debbie Jones and I take full responsibility for this Ofsted report and will be making it an absolute priority to improve the service.‘We have found more and more problems with the service and have made improvements, but they have not been fast or comprehensive enough.’According to the draft accounts for 2016-17, Mrs Jones earned £139,568 last year while Mr Tuckley earned £227,659 including pension contributions of £30,623.MPs demanded an urgent review last night after it emerged a ‘distressed’ Christian five-year-old had been forced to live with Muslim foster carers.The Government was urged to examine the case, which has seen a scandal-hit council place the girl in two Muslim households in the past six months, against the wishes of her family.Its children’s services department was branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in April.In their report, inspectors warned there were ‘widespread and serious failures’ which had left children in ‘neglectful and abusive situations’ for too long.
They found superficial assessments failed to consider whether children had been trafficked or abandoned, and basic safeguarding checks were not conducted in most cases.
In 2015, the Tower Hamlets council was stripped by the government of many of its powers after its former mayor, Lutfur Rahman, was found guilty of corrupt and illegal electoral practices.
An electoral court found Rahman ‘cynically perverted’ the religious feeling of his Muslim community in the area and silenced his critics with accusations of racism and Islamophobia.
They said chief executive Will Tuckley and the department director Debbie Jones had ‘insufficient scrutiny’, meaning they ‘did not know about the extent of the failures to protect children’.
The watchdog’s findings were so concerning that following its investigation in January, immediate action was needed in many cases to ensure children were safe.