Sarah Champion MP responds to Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Report

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In response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997-2013 report released today, Sarah Champion MP has provided the following statement: "It is absolutely right that the council apologise for their mistakes and accept the report fully, and the Leader has taken the right decision to take responsibility and stand down. Child sexual exploitation is a deplorable crime and there is no excuse for these failures. This is a vile crime and society should not tolerate it. It was right that the Council commissioned this report and I urge that the recommendations are fully implemented.

Whilst the sexual abuses investigated by this inquiry are historic, we must send a strong message that change is needed in order to stop child sexual abuse both in Rotherham and across the UK. As my parliamentary inquiry highlighted, there is much room for improvement across the UK and we should never become complacent in our efforts to protect children.

Since becoming an MP in 2012, tackling child sexual abuse has been my highest priority. Through the inquiry that I set up with Barnardo's in 2013, I have made significant progress towards changing the law to keep our children safe.

The lessons from this report must be taken on board not just by councillors and officers of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council; the report must also be a lesson to authorities across the country that the threat of child sexual abuse is very real and must be taken seriously.