EU Referendum

Booker: an "exclusive" story for a change


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Booker makes more of a mark than usual this week with a story that his own newspaper finds so remarkable that it has lifted it, and reworked it to put it in the news pages – claiming it as an "exclusive".

And indeed it is a remarkable story, one where a pregnant Italian mother who flew to England for a two-week Ryanair training course at Stansted ends up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and forcibly sedated. When she wakes up hours later, she finds herself in a different hospital. Her baby has been removed by caesarean section while she was unconscious and taken into care by social workers.

She is not allowed to see her baby daughter, and later learns that a High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, had given the social workers permission to arrange for the child to be delivered. In October, at a hearing before another judge, she was represented by lawyers assigned to her by the local authority and told she would be escorted back to Italy without her baby.

So the nightmare continues, yet another example of how our dedicated band of social workers continue to amaze, supported by a legal system that is the envy of the world, staffed as it is by a dedicated band of judges whose commitment to the principles of justice, openness and transparency are second to none.

Now that the paper has put a proper journalist on the story, though, it will doubtless get the coverage it deserves, instead of being left to molder in the Booker ghetto. Perhaps the paper could make a habit of this. You never know where it could lead. The other two stories in the column might be a good place to start.