A former MP has raised concerns about a legal battle involving a prominent public figure’s 16-year-old relative, who was taken into care by Sutton Council.

John Hemming, a former Liberal Democrat MP, is concerned about the way the teenager, who alleged his mother assaulted him, became the focus of family court proceedings which meant he could not attend school for a year.

He said the youngster was also preparing to mount an appeal against a ruling that he could not be identified.

Social workers intervened more than a year ago after the boy, who was born in South Africa and is now 16, made the allegation against his mother.

The boy was taken into police protection, then placed with foster carers, and his mother was arrested.

A judge announced in June that family court proceedings had ended after the teenager and his mother left the country.

Sources estimate than more than £100,000 was spent on the case.

Mr Justice MacDonald, who oversaw private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London, ruled that neither the teenager nor his well-known relative could be identified but said Sutton Council were the local authority involved.

Mr Hemming, who campaigns for improvements in the family justice system, said he wants Court of Appeal judges to look at the case.

He said the teenager is getting ready to mount an appeal, and Mr Hemming said he may speak on behalf of the youngster at any appeal hearing in London.

The former Birmingham Yardley MP, who advised the teenager and his mother, said the case troubled him and the ''system'' had made a bad situation worse.

Mr Hemming added that Mr Justice MacDonald's decision to bar the naming of the boy's well-known relative meant that the full implications of the case could not be revealed by journalists.

Mr Justice MacDonald had said, in a written ruling, that the case raised issues of ''plain public interest''.

But he concluded that it was not in the public interest to allow journalists to reveal the name of the public figure the boy is related to.

Mr Justice MacDonald said the public figure - a man - was not involved in the proceedings and his conduct had not been called into question.

The judge said there was a risk that naming the public figure might lead to the creation of an information jigsaw which would reveal the boy's identity.

He added proceedings had ended after the boy absconded prior to a court hearing and left the UK with his mother.

The judge said the boy had absconded from the Royal Courts of Justice complex in London in April.

Inquiries revealed that he had gone to the Zimbabwean Embassy in London, where his mother joined him.

Mr Justice MacDonald said he ordered the boy's passport to be held, made an order putting ports on alert order and respectfully requested the Zimbabwean Embassy not to issue replacement travel documents to the boy.

He said in late April it emerged that the boy and his mother left the UK ''notwithstanding the existence of the port alert''.

Evidence showed that they travelled to Zimbabwe.

Mr Justice MacDonald subsequently gave Sutton Council permission to end proceedings.

The boy remained in England under the terms of an interim care order made in May 2015, said the judge.

Concerns were raised about his mental health and the judge said he was detained under the terms of mental health legislation at one stage.

The judge said the boy's time in the care of Sutton Council had not been smooth and caused his mother legitimate concern.

Mr Justice MacDonald said he also received an application purporting to be from the boy asking for all reporting restrictions to be lifted - a move which would have allowed the boy, his mother and the public figure to be named.

He said he rejected the application.

Press Association representatives made a separate application asking the judge to allow the public figure to be named, but not the boy.