UK – Put up or shut up, dads’ campaigner tells the Prime Minister

Fraser Chatburn
Fraser Chatburn

A CAMPAIGNER who fights for fathers to have equal access rights to their children has hit out at the Prime Minister over claims recent riots were caused by yobs who ‘had no father at home’.

Treasurer and secretary of the Burton branch of Families Need Fathers, Fraser Chatburn, said it was now time for the Government to ‘back up its bold claims with action’.

David Cameron revealed that he ‘did not doubt that many of the rioters had no father at home’ after trouble erupted across the country last week.

Mr Chatburn said: “These kind of incidents and this kind of reaction from the Prime Minister come as no great surprise to me or equal parenting groups.

“We have always been of the opinion, and it is one of the reasons we are fighting for our rights, that if male teens lose the male role models in their life they will be significantly influenced by their peers and are most likely to join a gang and become involved in incidents like we have seen across the nation in the past week.

“In terms of what the Prime Minister said, has he not thought that many of the fathers do not want to be in the position of not being at home for their children? “Many of the rioters may have come from this situation, but it is not necessarily the whole story — not by a long shot.

“It is very easy for a host of people, including David Cameron, to stand up and blame single parent fathers and single parent families for what has happened.

“But the point that many are missing is that we know there is a problem, and many dads want to play a part in their child’s life — so stop talking and follow the words up with positive and strong action.

“Laws need to be changed so that a father has an automatic right to see their child following separation. If this happens then the root cause of what we have seen on our streets will begin to be addressed.”

Mr Chatburn’s reaction comes after the Mail featured a story in which a single mum hit back at those aiming to lay the blame for the riots at the doorstep of broken homes.

Michaela Costello, 43, of Stapenhill, said that the rioters were ‘responsible for their own behaviour’ and used the example of her 13-year-old son, Daniel, as to how a separated family had produced a well-adjusted child.





I TOTALLY agree with Michaela. I have been a single parent for 11 years, my son is now 17 years old and I am so proud of him.

I have sacrificed so much for him but it has all be worth it to see him grow up into a well-balanced, intelligent, well-mannered, happy, caring, thoughtful and respectful young man.

I have been on benefits many years, am disabled and live in rented accommodation but I have taken total personal responsibility for myself and my son and as he has grown up he has done the same for himself, rather than blame others or society itself.

He has been disgusted at the rioting and ashamed to see young people giving others a bad name.

So, let’s hope people like myself, Michaela and other single parents and our sons/daughters can show the public otherwise.


I WOULD like to add that I brought my son up as a lone parent, without any maintenance or contact from his father, and my son has just spent the past five years at university, getting his degree and then going on to gain the top level in a Masters degree.

Children and teenagers who misbehave are not always from lone parent families. There are plenty of two-parent dysfunctional families.


I agree that parenting can be good or bad independently of whether there are one or two parents involved, this piece is not about parenting skills. It is about your son’s innate abilities, of which you are clearly very proud.

Your son has lots of opportunities open to him that less blessed children don’t have. And don’t forget that several of the looters have been given up to the police by their caring, committed, law-abiding and responsible mothers.


NOT just a lad to make his mum proud, a lad to make the town proud.

The trouble is when society breaks down young people are the easiest of targets. Interestingly it seems that of those arrested following the riots only 17 per cent are 18 or younger. This was not the impression that we got from first reports.


I TOO was brought up in a single parent family. Both myself and my brother have never been in trouble, done drugs or anything anti-social.

We are both in our 30s now and have families of our own.

It’s not who brings you up, but how.


This article seems a fair response to the possibility of criminality arising from broken family life. Proof is in the pudding though.

How many of the arrested people from the recent disturbances suffered from parental separation/divorce, before they were 18 years old ? I suspect that the figure may be above 65 per cent.


WELL done Daniel — and well done mum. You are a credit to your mum, Daniel, and prove what I have said all along about this subject — kids blame broken homes and anything else that takes the blame off themselves. They will not accept the fact that it’s themselves that are to blame.

When their parents split it seems that they take it that this gives them the excuse they have been waiting for to make complete and utter idiots of themselves.

Yobs — it’s you that are breaking the law, not your parents.


WHAT a fabulous story. My two friends are both single parents and have raised happy, confident, well behaved kids who are now great teenagers so I agree with you that being a single parent has got nothing to do with it. It’s about your mindset, your values and your confidence and it’s all about kids spelling love T-I-M-E!

SUE ATKINS, author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies and the Parenting Made Easy App

I MUST congratulate you on all of your son’s achievements. You must be a very proud parent and your son must be very proud to have a mother like you that gives him the praise he well deserves.


WELL put, and congratulations on raising such an accomplished and decent young man. You should be proud. My 17-year-old (also raised single-handedly) is disgusted that a few mindless idiots are giving a whole generation such a bad name.


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