John’s response to the six independent reports published by Rotherham Council.
“I’ve now had the chance to read the six independent reports published on Wednesday afternoon (6 September).
“It’s nearly three years since these investigations were commissioned by Rotherham Council after the Jay report in 2014.
“Since then, nothing has been more important to those who endured such terrible abuse – and to the town – than the delivery of justice and a full explanation of what went wrong. These reports sought to shed more light on failings in Rotherham Council and why those in positions of responsibility failed to protect those who were in their care and other victims of CSE.
“The reports are really disappointing. They set out what the independent investigators were able to establish and they do provide some more information but I understand completely why survivors and their families feel so angry. Little new light is shed on the past, and none of the reports have the evidence to hold any individual responsible for the widespread and systemic failings they investigate.
“The reports are by no means the full explanation survivors want or deserve and it’s deeply wrong that people who held key council positions during the period covered by Jay didn’t take part. This shows disdain and disrespect for the victims and the courage they have shown in their fight to expose the truth.
“On the positive side, it is important and reassuring that the problems raised in the reports are by now familiar to the council and that work is well advanced to sort them out, as with taxi licensing. The Council has my full backing for this work, and I will do what I can to make sure the improvements continue. It’s also vital that the National Crime Agency and Police continue the criminal investigations that have so far seen 26 of the CSE criminals jailed. I hope more will face justice and that in time our town will have the answers it needs.”