Clive Bull is Leading Britain's Conversation, including the Health Hour from 9pm
19 November 2017, 13:10
"There's a bitterness inside me, I'm going to admit, when I read this. Cafcass recognising parental alienation. What took you so long?"
Divorcing parents could be denied contact with their children if they try to turn them against their former partner, under a “groundbreaking” process being trialled by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).
Known as parental alienation, the ultimate aim of the phenomenon is to persuade the child to permanently exclude the other parent from their life.
Maajid Nawaz said he has personal experience of the process, having not seen his son for more than five years.
The LBC presenter said: "In my own case, and I have to phrase this very carefully, I am still estranged from a son I love dearly and wish for every day that he reaches out to me.
"But there's absolutely no contact, and I went to court. The child expressed their desire not to see me, and the judge had no option but to respect the wishes of a 13-year-old.
"Now of course in any other scenario, as the judge herself remarked in her judgement, if a 13-year-old expressed a desire not to go to school that doesn't mean we just listen to it.
"How is going to school more important than having a relationship with a parent?
"When there's not even accusation, let alone a proven allegation, of criminal conduct, it's simply emotional and physical manipulation. Everyone knows it happens with divorcees. Everyone knows it needs to change.
"There's a bitterness inside me, I'm going to admit, when I read this. Cafcass recognising parental alienation. What took you so long?
"There is a bitterness inside me, what took you so blooming long that countless parents are being alienated from their child in this country?
"I can't remove that bitterness because it's been over five years since I've had any contact with my child.
"No response to emails, calls, no response whatsoever. I'm not the kind of bloke that wants to turn into a stalker, banging on doors.
"I'm not that guy that's going to start hanging around outside schools, that has it sown intimidation to the child for that reason you don't want to emotionally traumatise the child even more. But of course you can imagine what's being told to that child. 'Oh see your dad didn't even turn up on parents' day?'
"Actually it's because I don't want to be typecast as a stalker parent who won't take a hint. You don't know what is being said to a child about how much you care about them.
"All I can do, whether it's over the airwaves or in any means possible, is to reemphasise the love I have for my child."
Watch the clip at the top of this page.