Tory MP Alexander Stafford has stated that ‘a lot will come out’ over the coming weeks regarding the infamous Rotherham grooming scandal.
Stafford, who has represented Rother Valley since the 2019 General Election, wrote a series of posts on his Facebook page, after having frequently campaigned to raise awareness of the scandal and encourage more help for its victims.
Earlier in the year, the MP met with Home Secretary Suella Braverman in his constituency, whereby the pair spoke to well-known and brave CSE survivor Sammy Woodhouse. He later wrote:
“Earlier this year, I welcomed Home Secretary Suella Braverman to Rother Valley to meet Sammy Woodhouse
and discuss the lasting legacy of the infamous grooming gangs scandal that has blighted Rotherham.
“This Government is committed to providing better support to all survivors and ensuring that anyone who has knowledge or intelligence that grooming
is taking place is legally bound to disclose what they know.
“While we have always had a moral duty to escalate any information relating to the abuse of a minor, this Government has now made failure to do so a criminal offence. And one of the key lessons from Rotherham is that the abuse was allowed to escalate precisely because people DID stay silent about what they knew was happening.
“The tireless campaigning of brave survivors has informed this policy and I am proud to have welcomed the Home Secretary to the heart of Rother Valley to introduce it.
“When I was elected I promised to do everything in my power to support the victims of Child Sexual Exploitation
and to do everything I can to try and ensure it does not happen again.
Some of the members of a grooming gang from Rotherham.
“Thousands of young people across Britain, and of course here in Rotherham, have been sexually abused by grooming gangs and communities have been badly let down by a disgraceful failure to act.
“Victims were failed because when they came forward to local politicians, social workers, or even the police they were too often ignored for reasons of political correctness or cultural sensitivity.
“We had a productive discussion including about the new legislation which will include:
– Launching a police-led Grooming Gangs Taskforce of specialist police and National Crime Agency experts to disrupt grooming gangs and bring perpetrators to justice.
– Introducing mandatory reporting for professionals in safeguarding roles, such as teachers and social workers, so they are legally obliged to report concerns about child grooming.
– Making sure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes receive the toughest sentences by making grooming gang behaviour a statutory aggravating factor at sentencing.
– Monitoring the ethnicity of grooming gang suspects, because political correctness should never get in the way of keeping girls safe.
– Relaunching a national hotline for whistleblowers and victims, so people have confidence there is an avenue to report grooming gangs and their concerns will be properly followed up on.
“The abuse of the most vulnerable by grooming gangs and the failure of those entrusted to safeguard them is one of the greatest injustices seen in modern Britain. I will not let anything stand in the way of our duty to protect our girls and bring the perpetrators or enablers to justice.”
MP Alexander Stafford and Home Secretary Suella Braverman met to discuss the Rotherham scandal earlier this year.
This month, the MP raised the issue again, writing:
has seen copies of missing files relating to the grooming gangs scandal that have been returned to Rotherham Council.
“The insecurity of “sensitive files” from sex abuse scandal apparently “floating around and not in the hands of the authorities”, containing sensitive details about rapists and their victims, is an horrific story that has come to light today.
“The council MUST collect these sensitive files immediately and ensure that other details are not being circulated.
From left: Sammy Woodhouse, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Alexander Stafford MP.
But the issue, he revealed last week, was far from resolved.
Sharing a letter he had sent to Labour leader Keir Starmer, Stafford wrote on his Facebook page:
“I have written to the Labour
leader about grooming gangs. Survivors of the most horrific abuse imaginable do not trust those who were in power in Rotherham at the time these horrific atrocities and abuse happened, and the following years of silence, denial and cover-up.
“If Keir Starmer
is serious about combatting grooming gangs, he should also be serious about listening to survivors in Rotherham and remove all the councillors elected before 2016.
was warned following the publication of the Casey Report by their own MPs, that Rotherham Labour councillors elected at the time would never be trusted by survivors and should be prevented from seeking re-election. Labour ignored these calls then and continue to do so now.”
Confirming on his Facebook page
had not replied, this week the MP wrote that the situation was ‘not going to go away,’ and urged his followers to ‘stay tuned. A lot going to come out over the next few weeks…’
This is a developing story. VoteWatch will provide an update when one becomes available.