Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Zahawi says the nation is 'distraught' following murder of six-year-old boy

Stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old’s murder, while his father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the “whole nation is distraught” at the “tragic and horrific” death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, telling the Commons: “We across this House and across this country find it impossible to imagine how any adult could commit such evil acts against a child.”

Labinjo-Hughes' Stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old’s murder, while his father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

Tustin fatally assaulted Arthur in the hallway of her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull, on June 16 2020, having previously abused, starved and poisoned him.

The Education Secretary added: “I know that colleagues and people outside of this place are seriously troubled that Arthur was subjected to a campaign of appalling cruelty and murdered after concerns had been raised with local services.”

Mr Zahawi went on: “I am as determined as everybody in this House to get to the truth and expose what went wrong, and take any action necessary to protect children.”

The Government yesterday announced a major review into the circumstances which led to the murder of the six-year-old.

It aims to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur in the months before he was murdered by stepmother Emma Tustin at their home in Solihull.

Boris Johnson has said ministers will leave “absolutely no stone unturned” to establish what went wrong in the case of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

“I just want to say, on the tragic and appalling case of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, like many people I find it hard to read it, let alone to understand how people could behave like that to a defenceless little child,” he said.