POLITICS

Nick Clegg Defends Katie Price After Row With Katie Hopkins Row Over Harvey's Care

29/01/2015 13:12 GMT | Updated 29/01/2015 14:59 GMT
Michael Gottschalk via Getty Images
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 26: British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg speaks as he attends a press statement in German Ministry of Economy on November 26, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Nick Clegg has stepped in to defend Katie Price after she rowed with fellow Celebrity Big Brother contestant Katie Hopkins about the care her young son, Harvey.

"I so happen to think that the help that we give as a society to disabled children may well be one of those areas where most people think, on balance, it's better to provide that universally," he said on LBC radio.

"I would be pretty reluctant to say on the facts of this individual case, we therefore throw out the idea of universally treating all children with disabilities with the same kind of compassion and support everywhere we can."

This comes after the former glamour model revealed this week that she was helped by taxpayers with a bill of £1,000 per day to take her son Harvey to school, despite her estimated wealth of £35million.

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Price, in an official statement, insisted that Harvey is entitled to the extra care given to him by the local authorities.

The full statement reads:

“Harvey’s school placement was assessed and agreed by the Local authority. When this was done transport costs were included in the calculation.

This was done because Harvey has a Statement of Special Educational Needs because of his disabilities. Within this Statement it includes the name of the school Harvey must attend.

Where any child that is placed in school out of the immediate home area it is the Local Authorities DUTY to provide transport that meets the child’s needs. This is common practice for all disabled children as there are not enough suitable schools available to them.

The cost of the school placement together with transport is not means tested as it is provided for the child. Local Authoirties do not have special needs schools locally as these have been closed during the last 15 years as it was deemed a cheeper option to transport children out of borough. If Harvey’s school was on his doorstep as with schools for healthy children then this would not apply but it was the Governments choice to close the special needs schools.

The education law states that the local authority must provide transport to and from the school that is named in the statement.

This must be appropriate to the child’s needs and include the provision of an escort (in Harvey’s case a nurse) who is trained to cope with the child’s medical needs.

The escort (nurse) is because Harvey’s condition is life threatening and has to have someone capable of giving emergency injections to save his life.

Kate’s calculation of £1000 per day is based on hiring her private driver and a private nurse, to drive to and from her home to Harvey’s school twice a day (which is 1.5 hrs drive each way). This is not the sum that local authority pays.”

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