Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has again called for an independent 'Rotherham-style' inquiry into child sexual abuse across the Bradford District, putting a question to Rishi Sunak in the Commons on Wednesday.
Speaking in a busy House of Commons Chamber, the MP said the issue has “haunted” Keighley “for many decades” and accused Bradford Council’s Leader Susan Hinchcliffe and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, who have the power to instigate a full review, of “sweeping this issue under the carpet”.
The MP urged both leaders to instigate the review with urgency, calling it “the morally right thing” to do.
Mr Moore told the House of Commons Chamber: “A key issue which has haunted Keighley for many decades is child sexual exploitation and grooming gangs. I want to see a full ‘Rotherham style’ review into child sexual exploitation across our area but yet, Bradford Council’s Leader and our West Yorkshire Mayor both refuse to back one – due to political correctness getting in the way - simply sweeping this issue under the carpet. So will the Prime Minister, for the sake of the victims, work with me to ensure that our local leaders do the morally right thing, and instigate a full ‘Rotherham style’ review?”
Replying to the local MP, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “We shouldn’t let political correctness stand in the way of keeping vulnerable girls safe or indeed holding people to account…it’s for authorities in the local area to commission local inquiries and I have no doubt that he will continue to encourage them to do so. For the government’s part, we’ve commissioned the relevant inspectorate to examine current policing practice in response to group based sexual exploitation of children."
Fresh calls for Bradford Council to instigate an independent review follow the release of a review into Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Safeguarding Practices across the Bradford District in Summer 2021, which spanned over 20 years. The review, which only focused on 5 children, found they had experienced grotesque sexual abuse and there had been multi-agency failings by Bradford Council and others which are still missing clear signs of child sexual abuse.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Robbie Moore MP said: “Leaders at Bradford Council and our West Yorkshire Mayor are standing in the way of tackling the scourge of child sexual exploitation and grooming gangs across the Bradford District, refusing to act on my calls for a full Rotherham-style review into these abhorrent crimes. Enough is enough, and that’s why today I raised this issue with the Prime Minister and urged our local leaders do the morally right thing, put victims first, and instigate this review.
"Since becoming Keighley’s MP, I have heard awful stories from victims of child sexual exploitation and grooming gangs in our area. A full review will allow us to properly understand the scale of the problem, bring this criminal minority to justice and help protect children and young people from this vile and disgusting crime.”