Statement on allegations received about a Rotherham councillor

“As I said when the Jay report into child sexual exploitation was first published, I was shocked and sickened by its contents, and by the grave past failings of those whose first duty was to protect our young people and prosecute the perpetrators. As a local MP, I was simply unaware of the scale and seriousness of the problem that the report exposed.

“But it is understandable that people want to make sure that I acted properly with any information I did have. In this regard, I have been recently asked about an anonymous letter that was sent to Sarah Champion MP and copied to me in October of last year – the month that the Council commissioned the independent Jay report – which made allegations about a Rotherham councillor. The allegations it contained were principally of corruption in council links with a local community centre, rather than about child sexual exploitation.

“When people aren’t prepared to put their name to correspondence and make anonymous accusations, I am unable to confirm any details with them and I am therefore generally less willing to act. However, after discussion with Sarah Champion, due to the specific nature of some of the allegations and as this was a matter concerning a Rotherham councillor, on the 10th October I referred the allegations to the Chief Executive of Rotherham council for his investigation and action, along with a copy of the letter.

“If anyone has information about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, I encourage them to contact the police, or the Rotherham team responsible for children’s safeguarding on 01709 823987.”