Daily roundup 2 January: Greening, alcoholic parents, and sexual abuse

Neil Puffett
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Claims Education Secretary could lose job as part of cabinet reshuffle; government set to establish national helpline for children of alcoholics; and police chief estimates more than 20,000 men are interested in sexually abusing children, all in the news today.

It has been claimed that Education Secretary could lose her job as part of a cabinet reshuffle. Picture: UK Parliament
It has been claimed that Education Secretary could lose her job as part of a cabinet reshuffle. Picture: UK Parliament

Education Secretary Justine Greening is among several cabinet ministers facing the sack as part of possible reshuffle, it has been claimed. The Times reports that Prime Minister Theresa May is contemplating a reshuffle within the next two weeks, with Greening among those who could potentially be moved out of post.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is drawing up a strategy including a new national helpline to support 200,000 children being raised by alcoholic parents. The Guardian reports that Hunt is committing £500,000 to expand an existing local support line for children into a national helpline after being moved by the personal story of his Labour counterpart Jonathan Ashworth.

The police chief in charge of child protection says tens of thousands of British men have shown an interest in sexually abusing children. The Guardian reports that Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead on child protection, said investigators monitoring a single online chatroom in 2017 identified 4,000 men using it from the UK alone. He has estimated the number of men interested in sexually abusing children at more than 20,000.

A children's centre is set to be taken out of the control of a community - despite a petition of more than 1,600 signatures against it. The Express and Star reports that the centre in Walsall, currently run by Palfrey Community Association, is set to be taken over by an outside company after a decision by Walsall Council chiefs. A petition of more than 1,600 parents and community members has been submitted, urging council leaders to rethink their decision.

Children who have been given phones and tablets for Christmas are feared to be in danger because parents are failing to keep tabs on their online activity. The Mirror reports that a study by Barnardo's found that just 55 per cent of parents monitor who their children speak to on the internet and only 60 per cent would activate maximum privacy settings - despite 88 per cent knowing of potential risks to children online. Barnardo's found half of devices bought for children were given to those aged 10 or under.

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