Six reports into the Rotherham Muslim sex abuse scandal have been branded a “completely wasted opportunity” by the local Labour MP after they all concluded no one was to blame for failings that led to the sexual abuse of over 1,400 young English girls in the south Yorkshire town by mainly Pakistani Muslim gangs.
And the local Labour MP, Sarah Champion, was forced to quit her role as shadow women and equalities secretary last month for saying the UK has a “problem with British-Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.
She said in response to the reports: “I had hoped today’s reports would draw a line under the catalogue of errors that led to our children being let down so badly by those supposed to protect them. However, despite these huge failures, it appears no individual at the council has yet been held to account for their role.”
One report said there was a “widespread systemic failure” at the council, rather than “anything for which individual practitioners can be held to account”. The author of another report into the conduct of senior council managers told a meeting he had found it was “more cock-up, than conspiracy”.
The reports were commissioned by the council after the 2014 Jay Report, which detailed how more than 1,400 young English girls were raped, trafficked and sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of men of largely Pakistani Muslim heritage and origin.
As a result of the scandal, Rotherham’s Labour-run council was disbanded, and fresh elections held in 2015.
Power is being returned to the council in phases, with the council expected to fully regain its powers by 2019.
Currently, Labour forms a majority on the council, with UKIP in opposition.