Why did Sarah Champion quit her shadow frontbench post? She says it was because of her 'poor choice of words' in an article she wrote for The Sun on the organised rape gangs in her constituency and elsewhere. What words did she use that were such a 'poor choice'?
'Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.'
“For too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up. No more. These people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.”
“The irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race.”
“It was shocking. Mainly white pubescent girls were being sexually groomed and exploited by gangs of mainly British Pakistani men.”
The thrust of her article is an accusation that the Government's response to the organised gang rape scandals in Rotherham and elsewhere has been lukewarm. This Labour MP and, at the time, shadow minister, was trying to hold the Government to account in a public forum for the noble purpose of protecting the daughters of her constituents from gang rape.
For telling us about this, she has felt obliged to quit her frontbench post.
But is what she wrote such a poor choice of words? Not quite. It is actually a tame version of official reports:
Here is what the Jay Report said on the topic. The report was commissioned by the Labour-controlled council in Rotherham.
'In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010.”
'Agencies should acknowledge the suspected model of localised grooming of young white girls by men of Pakistani heritage, instead of being inhibited by the fear of affecting community relations.'
'By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. [...] Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”
And here is what the Casey Report, commissioned by the Government, had to say:
'Terrible things happened in Rotherham and on a significant scale. Children were sexually exploited by men who came largely from the Pakistani Heritage Community. Not enough was done to acknowledge this, to stop it happening, to protect children, to support victims and to apprehend perpetrators.'
'I found a Council in denial. They denied that there had been a problem, or if there had been, that it was as big as was said. If there was a problem they certainly were not told – it was someone else’s job. They were no worse than anyone else. They had won awards. '
'We must not lose sight of what the failures in Rotherham have meant in practice; victims have been hurt and remain without justice, the Pakistani Heritage Community has been harmed by association'
Sarah Champion said no more than what is already in the public domain in official reports that are uncontested by any MP or mainstream party in any public communication. For this she has quit her shadow post, or, more likely, has had to quit.
It seems Labour has not learned anything about these gang rape scandals and is still trying to shut down debate on the issue. After all that has gone on, Labour is still turning a blind eye to child sex exploitation on Labour's watch, in Labour's heartlands.