A sense of sadness hung over the Commons for just over an hours yesterday.

The vapour cloud hovered over the area, blocking any light of positive energy. The faces of MPs were as long as the violas. It was notable that laughter and Levity were absent.

Others came to voice their opinion, while others were there to criticize. Many of them just expressed outright horror.

The time was 4.20pm and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi was delivering his statement on Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the six-year-old who lost his life at the hands of his father and stepmother and whose suffering, Zahawi noted, most people were still ‘struggling to understand’.

He called for a review of the manner in which the case was handled. While ‘no government can legislate for evil’, he said, he would ‘take action to stop it whenever we can’.

The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi gave a statement about the review in the Commons

The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi gave a statement about the review in the Commons 

Arthur was killed by his stepmother, Emma Tustin, 32, and father, Thomas Hughes, 29, (who he is pictured with) subjected him to 'unimaginable' torture and abuse

Arthur, his stepmother Emma Tustin (32) and Thomas Hughes (29) (pictured together) killed him. They subjected him unimaginable’ tortures and abuses. 

Emma Tustin, 32

Thomas Hughes, 29

Emma Tustin (32), murdered Arthur repeatedly by hitting his head against a hard surface. She and Thomas Hughes, 29, had starved Arthur and poisoned it with salt.

Zahawi is a natural leader and enjoys the appearance of being in control. He’s what a sales team leader would call a closer. He is a leader. Boris chose him to be the vaccines minister.

His ability to command respect within the House is a bonus, which is not common in today’s political climate. We should all let out a collective sigh of relief that Gavin Williamson has resigned.

Opposite Zahawi sat Labour’s Bridget Phillipson, newly promoted to the education brief during Sir Keir Starmer’s reshuffle. Although the event was daunting, Phillipson managed to maintain the right tone.

Her description of Arthur as ‘the little boy with the happy smile who should still be with us here today’ was greeted with approval around the chamber.

As parents, many MPs found themselves in the middle of tears, expressing their sympathies. No one could doubt the sincerity displayed by each member. Rarely do I see the Commons as genuine.

The SNP’s Carol Monaghan (Glasgow NW), a mother of three, graciously thanked Zahawi for his statement which she acknowledged ‘spoke from the heart’. He was supported by her. It is something not often done by the Scots Nats.

Florence Eshalomi (Lab, Vauxhall) admitted she had hugged her children ‘a little tighter’ last weekend after learning the horrific details of Arthur’s case. Julian Knight (Con. Solihull), Arthur’s constituency representative, looked visibly shaken. Poor fellow looked as though he’d been hauled through a mangle.

He described Arthur as the ‘little lad who never stood a chance’ and urged Zahawi to ensure that no town ‘has its heart broken’ the way Solihull had.

Arthur's grandmother, Joanne Hughes, took photos of bruises on Arthur's shoulder (pictured) and made a referral to Solihull Council

Joanne Hughes (Arctic’s grandmother) took photographs of Arthur’s bruises and referred it to Solihull Council

Knight had nearly blocked his throat by the time he resumed his chair.

Some people were frustrated with the system. Caroline Johnson (Consul, Sleaford), child doctor said that the legal system is often not able to prosecute those who cause harm to young children.

There was outrage, too, at the punishment handed out to Arthur’s father and stepmother, who were sentenced to 21 years and 29 years respectively. ‘Lock them up and throw away the key,’ was the advice of Saqib Bhatti (Con, Meriden).

Some opposition MPs summonsed that age-old complaint – ‘Tory cuts.’ Emma Lewell-Buck (Lab, South Shields) claimed she had warned Zahawi when he was children’s minister that government policies would cost a child its life. John McDonnell (Lab Hayes), furious, said that governments are far too adept at setting up reviews while blaming other people. It was a lack of funds that caused the problem. This was the same with McDonnell.

The only other notable moment of day was the swearing-in of Louie French (Con, Old Bexley) who was elected in last week’s by-election following the death of James Brokenshire.

He took the parliamentary swearing in and signed the Test Roll. His family waved proudly and smiled from the crowd. An unexpected moment of light in a otherwise dark afternoon.