The Times (£) reports today that a white Christian child was taken from her family and forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer in a home where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic.

The story says that child was placed in not one but two Muslim foster homes, against the wishes of her family, by the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

“In confidential local authority reports seen by The Times, a social services supervisor describes the child sobbing and begging not to be returned to the foster carer’s home because ‘they don’t speak English’.

“The reports state that the supervisor heard the girl, who at times was ‘very distressed’, claiming that the foster carer removed her necklace, which had a Christian cross, and also suggested that she should learn Arabic.”

In 2015, Tower Hamlets council was stripped by the government of many of its powers after its former mayor, Lutfur Rahman, was found guilty of corrupt and illegal electoral practices. This year Ofsted inspectors found “widespread and serious failures” in council services provided to children who need help and protection.

In at the absence of any explanation by the council why it dealt with this case in such a way, it would appear that it has behaved with a frightening degree of cruelty, incompetence and ideological zealotry in erasing a child’s cultural identity.