A Liverpool man who was abandoned by Liverpool City Council when he was orphaned at eight years old, has claimed that the compensation he received is a token gesture.

Tony Hawkins was eight years old at the time his parents died from accidental poisoning in 1983, leaving him and his siblings having to fend after themselves after being abandoned by social services.

Mr Hawkins described how his older brother James, who was sixteen at the time, was left as the children’s legal guardian without support from the council: “James was asked do you want to look after the children? and he obviously said yes. And that was it, we were left there on our own.”

Mr Hawkins explained that him and his siblings would regularly miss school and would have to eat dog food in order to survive.

He has claimed that the £75,000 compensation between the four of them was a token gesture to stop the family seeking answers, after he said the Liverpool City Council have repeatedly fobbed him off in his search for answers.

Mr Hawkins is now appealing for people who were involved with the family’s case to come forward with information, as it was discovered that the council have no records of the family.

“I want answers. I can’t go through life… being regarded as the kids who never existed. It’s an insult upon insult. How do we know that lessons have been learnt?”

Liverpool City Council have said in a statement that they had: “publicly acknowledged that it let these young people down over 30 years ago”.

“Since that time there have been many changes in social work practice and safeguards in place to prevent this happening now.”