London has highest child poverty rates across the UK

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Media captionThe BBC's Ben Geoghegan reports on levels of child poverty around the UK

A new study of child poverty rates in the UK has found that London has many of the highest levels across the UK.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty report claims London contains 14 out of the worst 20 local authorities for child poverty.

The borough with the highest rate of child poverty in the capital is Tower Hamlets in east London, where 49% of children are poor.

Richmond upon Thames has the lowest rate in London with 15%.

'Must do better'

In 15 of the 33 boroughs between one third and a half of children are poor, the study found.

Campaigners published a child poverty map of the UK, which it said showed "shocking levels of hardship" across the country.

David Holmes, chair of the campaign, said: "Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are suffering as a result and missing out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

"We can and must do better for our children."

Responding to the figures a spokesman for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Tackling poverty is key to ensuring London's children get best start in life.

"Making it easier to gain long-term employment is one of the best ways to help families make their way out of poverty.

"Through the London Enterprise Panel the Mayor is investing £500m over the next seven years to support workless, low skilled and low paid Londoners into sustainable, good quality jobs"

Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets said the council was also introducing schemes - including providing 600 apprenticeships - to support young people.

He said: "Supporting vulnerable children and their families is one of my top priorities and we continue to work with our partners in tackling child poverty.

"In light of central government cuts, we must work even harder to ensure our services reach those who need them most."

The estimates of child poverty rates were gathered by academics at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Highest rates of child poverty in London by local authority

  • Tower Hamlets 49%
  • Hackney 41%
  • Newham 41%
  • Westminster 39%
  • Islington 38%

Lowest rates of child poverty in London by local authority

  • Bromley 21%
  • Kingston upon Thames 21%
  • Sutton 20%
  • City of London 16%
  • Richmond upon Thames 15%

Source: Centre for Research in Social Policy

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