DEMANDS from Baby P's father for a public inquest into his son's death could cost the taxpayer millions, it has emerged.

Peter Connelly's father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has asked for the inquiry to give him the opportunity to ask questions about why his 17-month-old son was allowed to die.

The toddler was found in a blood-splattered cot in Penshurst Avenue, Tottenham, having suffered months of torture.

Despite his mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and his Barker's brother, Jason Owen, who lodged with the couple, serving time for "causing or allowing" his death - it is still unknown which of them caused the fatal blows that brought his tragic life to an end.

He said he wanted to know why Haringey Council had not considered his son eligible to be permanently removed from his mother and had concerns about the way the Metropolitan Police handled investigations into allegations against her.

His barrister, Julien Foster, said he wanted to know how his son ended up "living a life of filth in squalor" with bruises and fungal infections, and yet was deemed to be "happy and well-groomed".

He added: "There are considerations that are very much in his mind in making this decision. His view is that better that the boil is lanced now than in the years to come there is still a sense in the family that questions remain unanswered."

But lawyers acting for Haringey Council and the Met said a public inquest would cost up to £4 million and would drag on for months.

They both agreed it was unlikely Coroner Andrew Walker would uncover "significant" new evidence beyond the criminal trial and the outcomes of the second Serious Case Review, led by Graham Badman the chairman of Haringey's Local Safeguarding Children's Board.

Mr Walker said: "For any inquest that has many issues to be considered, it is going to take time, but that is not a fact that should restrict or interfere with a decision on whether there is sufficient cause for it."

If the inquest went ahead, the coroner would be obligated to call witnesses including Steven Barker, currently serving a minimum of twenty years for his role in Peter's death, who refused to give evidence and has been denied legal aid.

His barrister, Bernard Richmond QC, said he would be prepared to help Barker, an illiterate with an IQ of just 60, to prepare a written statement and was happy for the inquest to go ahead.

Met lawyer, Hugh Davies, questioned the motives of Barker's legal team, and suggested it could be a tactic to bring new evidence into the public domain which could be used to appeal his sentence.

Mr Barker is serving a minimum of 20 years for his incomprehensible actions. He has a legal standing in these proceedings but no moral standing.

"He has nothing further to say. No further evidence to give. He has no reason to engage in these proceedings other than as a vehicle on which to base some challenge to his criminal conviction."

The coroner will publish his judgement of whether he intends to resume the inquest on November 30.