Dear Edward Timpson MP, Congratulations on your appointment as junior minister in the department of education with responsibility for adoption and children in care. You have two adopted younger brothers and your father fostered ninety children.He, John Timpson the Chief Executive of Timpson key-cutting and shoe-repair shops, is an extraordinary man and you, his son, have a lot to live up to - That can’t be easy.
You’re part of the APPG – the All-Party Parliamentary Group on both looked-after children and care leavers and adoption and fostering. It’s a hard working group and has made a difference especially in the drive to get young people in care into education. It’s something your father believed in and it’s one of the greatest developments in the “care system” that I have seen in my lifetime.
We’ve come along way. There’s never been a dedicated minister for young people in care. You are making history.
The state is the legal parent of the child in its care - this I know you know – and therefore the state should be evaluated, above all, on how it treats its child. It’s a travesty that this is not the case.Your role is the most important in government – - that of parent. As a minister in our government – responsible for its children – I will evaluate your actions according to the laws of good parenting. I’m taking this window of opportunity to sincerely wish you well.
Lemn Sissay MBE (hon) D.litt Patron of The Letterbox Club.