Shoesmith sacking: Government and council seek appeal

Sharon Shoesmith Sharon Shoesmith found out she had lost her job when Ed Balls gave a live televised press conference

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Haringey Council and the Department for Education are to seek an appeal at the Supreme Court against a ruling that Sharon Shoesmith was unfairly sacked.

In May, Court of Appeal judges said her dismissal by then children's secretary Ed Balls and her employers, Haringey Council, was "procedurally unfair".

Ms Shoesmith was head of children's services when baby Peter Connelly was found dead with more than 50 injuries.

He had been seen 60 times by authorities before his death in 2007.

A year later, Ms Shoesmith learned of her sacking in a live televised press conference by Mr Balls, bringing her 35-year career to an abrupt end.

Ms Shoesmith's appeal in May 2011 challenged a High Court ruling that cleared Mr Balls, the north London borough of Haringey and watchdog Ofsted of acting unlawfully.

The Court of Appeal judges dismissed her appeal against Ofsted, but did rule that her dismissal by Haringey and Mr Balls three years ago had been "procedurally unfair".

At the time, Mr Balls said he "strongly disagreed" with the judgement and added that his decision had been based on a report from independent inspectors.

On Friday, a Haringey Council spokesman said: "The council believes it acted properly throughout the process and stands by everything it has done.

"It is for these reasons we are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court."

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