The Times reports that Sharon Shoesmith’s legal challenge against the government has been fast-tracked by the High Court. The judicial review, in which Ms Shoesmith will try to prove that Ed Balls exceeded his powers when he removed her, will start on 7th October.
She has also brought three other legal claims, for breach of contract, unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
I agree with employment lawyer William Garnett, that her sex discrimination claim will almost certainly fail, but I was surprised when he said this:
I think Sharon Shoesmith has got more chance at the judicial review than the unfair dismissal claim.
As I said when she was sacked, I reckon she’s got Haringey pretty much bang-to-rights on the unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims. I will be extremely surprised if she loses them.
If I’m right, the government and Haringey will pay a high price for their knee-jerk reactions. The plight of social workers and the children they try to protect will, of course, be little improved by the whole sorry affair.