Bolton West MP Chris Green has called for a public inquiry during PMQs after Greater Manchester Police ‘lost’ body parts of his constituent’s baby daughter after she was killed by her father.
There were gasps in the House of Commons this afternoon when the MP told the story of 5 week old Leah Aldridge, daughter of Janine Aldridge, who was killed by her father. When she was buried 3 months later, her Ms Aldridge was assured by the Greater Manchester Police that all her organs had been returned following post-mortems.
Fifteen years later, in January 2017, Ms Aldridge was informed by Greater Manchester Police that her daughter’s liver had been found as a result of an audit of human tissue held by the police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that took place in 2010.
Ms Aldridge arranged another burial for Leah in March 2017 after having more of Leah’s organs returned. She was told by authorities at this point that all organs were accounted for but Ms Aldridge continued to enquire to ensure this was the case and reached out to her local MP for additional support.
Following enquiries made by Mr Green since March 2017, Ms Aldridge has been informed that other organs from her daughter had been retained. She held another burial for her daughter in August 2018. Ms Aldridge has no confidence that her case is closed and that all of her daughter’s organs have been accounted for.
The Bolton West MP has pushed for answers in PMQs this week, asking the Prime Minister to hold an inquiry into the Greater Manchester authorities’ mishandling of not only her case, but others like it. It is suspected that over 180 families in Greater Manchester have been affected.
Mr Green said: “The death of a child is always a horrific experience for any parent, however the failures in the Greater Manchester authorities’ handling of Miss Aldridge’s case has only amplified the horror she has had to endure.
“Only a few weeks ago even more body parts were discovered by the police and the family had to hold another burial. The Aldridge family no longer have any confidence in the Greater Manchester Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
“I hope that by raising Ms Aldridge’s case with the Prime Minister it will lead to an inquiry that will finally bring an end to this awful ordeal for the Aldridge family.”
In response to Mr Green’s question, the Prime Minister said: “Can I say to my honourable friend, I think this is an absolutely terrible case that he has set out and I’m sure as he will have felt from the reaction from members across the house when they heard him setting out the details, that we all want to express our deepest sympathy to Leah’s family for what is a prolonged trauma that they have had to endure as a result of the way that this has been handled.
"I understand the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester has been in touch with the Human Tissue Authority about the case and the Human Tissue Authority are advising on ensuring that the establishment concerned take the necessary work to evaluate what went wrong in this case, put in measures to minimise the chance that this could ever happen again, and officials in the Home Office are going to be meeting both with Greater Manchester Police and the National Police Chief’s Council to further address this issue of historically held human tissue and I will ensure that the relevant Home Office Minister updates my honourable friend on the outcome of those meetings."
For a video of Chris Green MP's question to the Prime Minister, please click here.