Daniel's Law petition edges closer to 100,000 target

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 12 March 2014 Updated: 12/03 16:01

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We have backed Daniel’s Law - a campaign to make the reporting of child abuse mandatory for professionals. (s)

PRESSURE is mounting on the government to debate Daniel's Law as the petition nears 100,000.

The campaign, launched in the wake of city schoolboy Daniel Pelka's murder, has more than 98,500 signatures. And hitting the milestone could help MPs in their bid to debate the new law, which calls on mandatory reporting of suspected abuse by professionals who work with children.

Two years have now passed since four-year-old Daniel was murdered by his mother and step-father.

Ministers have so far ruled out a change in the law while influential charity NSPCC are also against the campaign.

If the petition had been launched on the government's own e-petitions website - rather than on change.org - then hitting 100,000 would have seen the leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley, write to a backbench business committee who decide what is debated in the House.

However, the committee could also give a debate the green light if a group of MPs called on one to be launched.

Labour MP Tom Watson, who has already given his support to mandatory reporting, is putting his weight behind the law change.

A spokeswoman for the West Bromwich MP said he was not in a position to personally launch the debate - because he is already in the queue for others - but he fully supported the campaign and would be involved in a co-ordinated effort with colleagues to get a debate going.

It comes after campaign spearhead Paula Barrow appeared before a child protection pressure group at the House of Lords.

She made the case for new legislation and said her presentation had been favourably received by child protection experts.

"Not a single person who spoke was against it," she told us.

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