UK Politics

Farage: Labour handling of Rotherham child abuse "shocking"

Nigel Farage Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Labour's handling of the scandal was "just about one of the most shocking things I have seen" said UKIP leader Nigel Farage

UKIP has attacked Labour over how it responded to accusations of child abuse in Rotherham.

At least 1,400 girls were abused by gangs of mainly Pakistani men.

UKIP's Amjad Bashir said a "misguided sense of political correctness" had stopped Labour authorities from preventing the abuse of girls in the town.

Labour said it was "sickening" for UKIP to "use such an important issue for party-political point-scoring".

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Labour's handling of the scandal was "just about one of the most shocking things I have seen in my lifetime in this country".

'Shame'

Mr Bashir, who is an MEP, said the abuse was "appalling" and it was a "disgrace that political correctness and over-sensitivity around race let perpetrators off the hook".

He told delegates at the party's conference in Doncaster that the authorities' lack of action gave the perpetrators "protection to continue the abuse".

"I say to all the authorities: shame on you," he said.

"Never again should a misguided sense of political correctness have such a negative effect on our children."

Mr Bashir, who was born in Pakistan and is a Muslim, says the Asian community in Rotherham "knows there is a problem and it has to play a part in dealing with it".

Labour said it had acted swiftly following a report into the abuse.

"It is sickening that UKIP could use such an important issue for party-political point-scoring," a Labour spokesman said.

"Following the report into the Rotherham child abuse scandal the Labour Party took swift action including suspending four sitting councillors and instructing the Labour group on Rotherham Council to set up a committee on child protection that includes independent advisors to help rebuild public confidence in the council."

The spokesman added: "Those responsible must be held to account."

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