Will Keith Vaz and the Home Affairs Select Committee get the truth?

Today at Portcullis House in the Grimond Room at 15:30, Chairman Keith Vaz and the Home Affairs Select Committee are to re-question Joyce Thacker and Martin Kimber.

Their prior appearance was held to be less than satisfactory, especially after the evidence of Andrew Norfolk of the Times before Christmas.

In addition to these there are others who may well be able to shed further light on the woefully inadequate response to this most serious of issues.

Shaun Wright, now SYPCC is understood to be awaiting the call from Vaz’s secretary and Paul Lakin, the current cabinet member with responsibility, is believed also to be awaiting summons to appear.

There is one person however, that appears to have escaped Vaz’s attention thus far, someone whose very background would, one might have thought, have made him a uniquely valuable witness. I write of course, of Cllr Mahroof Hussain MBE, the cabinet member for community cohesion!

The session starts at 14:40 and the main event for us at 15:30, just click here to view the Parliament TV feed

Mahroof makes Tales from the Town Hall: Why Did This Councillor Get An MBE?

9 thoughts on “Will Keith Vaz and the Home Affairs Select Committee get the truth?

  1. Pingback: Home Affairs Select Committee – today 8th Jan 2013, 3.30pm | maltbyblogger

  2. Yes, one would have thought so. Similarly one would have thought that all RMBC councillors would have responded and made public their thoughts and intentions on the issues.
    Then again, how RMBC councillors think and how the majority of the electorate think continues t to be completely different.


  3. Well done Keith Vaz and the others on the panel who have questioned Kimber and Thacker at the Select Committee this afternoon. What a lot of squirming, blushing, stuttering and finger twiddling from this overpaid, incompetent pair.
    Says it all.


  4. From Chris Longley MBE

    Below is the full text of my email sent this evening in the wake of today’s session of the Home Affairs Select Committee:

    “Andy Boyd
    Senior Committee Assistant,
    Home Affairs Committee
    House of Commons

    Dear Mr Boyd

    I have watched today’s session of the Home Affairs Committee in regard to the systemic abuse of children in Rotherham at which Martin Kimber and Joyce Thacker, two paid officers of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC), gave evidence.

    I am pleased that Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, insisted that RMBC must provide to the Home Affairs Committee copies of all internal RMBC reports regarding the systemic abuse of children in Rotherham.

    I hope his insistence will go as far back as at least 2002. The Committee may find any early reports in these matters enlightening. It should be possible for all these reports to be made available within the working week since the only permission needed is that of the current responsible RMBC elected member.

    I would counsel also that when Keith Vaz MP writes to RMBC insisting on the provision of these reports that he should also insist that the reports are in un-redacted form. It will save his having to write to RMBC twice.

    Further, I suggest strongly that he insist also on the provision of all the Agendas and Minutes of all RMBC internal committee and Rotherham Children’s Safeguarding Board meetings at which these reports were discussed dating back to 2002.

    It is vital that these Minutes are available un-redacted because only in this way will it be possible to establish the following:
    1. Which RMBC officers and elected RMBC members (including Councillor Shaun Wright, now the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner) received these Reports, when did they receive them and at what RMBC committees and/or joint working arrangements were the reports decided upon?
    2. At RMBC committees, what recommendations to RMBC elected members were made by the RMBC officers in regard to these reports, and did the elected members adopt the recommendations?
    3. In the case of Safeguarding Board (a joint arrangement) meetings, what recommendations to members of the children’s safeguarding board were made by the officers, and were they adopted?
    4. What decisions did elected RMBC members take in respect of these reports and their recommendations in RMBC internal committees?
    Only by knowing the answers to these questions will the Home Affairs Select Committee know the answers to the vital questions:
    1. Who knew what and when did they know it?
    2. What did decision makers decide to do or decide not to do?
    Only when this information and decision trail is complete will the picture of the officer responsibilities and the elected politician responsibilities become clear.

    Simply having the reports themselves, although helpful, will not be enough.

    I suggest that the Select Committee should not interview Councillor Wright until it is in possession of a full and un-redacted set of reports and Minutes dating back to 2002, and therefore has a clearer “audit trail” of the information and the decisions made.

    The half decade in which Councillor Wright was in charge of the Rotherham safeguarding board/panel should be enlightening.

    Kind regards

    Chris Longley MBE”



  5. I also watched the same session and noticed Thacker appeared as Director of Children’s and Young Peoples Services. Has’nt this incompetent harridan been suspended?
    Both Kimber and Thacker have obviously been watching ‘Yes,Prime Minister’ and taking note of how Sir Humphrey obfuscates answers to questions.
    Pitiful and painful watching these two people squirm.


  6. 600 Victims and only 1 prosecution (so far) and Joyce Thacker insists she has not failed – a touch of humility from her might have helped at yesterday’s inquiry but the arrogance of this woman is breath-taking … not even an apology. Surely it is only a matter of time before she resigns along with those who turned a blind eye to the activities of young men who targeted children.
    In neighbouring Lancashire there’ve been 100 prosecutions – what are Rotherham police dithering around for? http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/600-victims-1-prosecution-dismal-failure-of-rotherham-council-over-child-grooming-1-5292427


  7. Think it’s clear why Rotherham police are ‘dithering’. The person responsible for Children’s Services during much of this despicable situation – Cllr Shaun Wright – is our new Police and Crime Comissioner.
    My bet’s on Wright sacking South York’s Police Chief before he get’s questioned at Select Committee !


  8. From Chris Longley MBE


    I note the RMBC statement above. I note in whose name it is made.

    Having read it most carefully, I can see no new information within it about the systemic abuse of children in Rotherham that took place on such a scale.

    If I have erred, and there is indeed new information about those systemic attacks, doubtless someone will kindly point out what I have missed.


    I have news from the Committee.

    Today I have been told on the telephone by Andy Boyd (Senior Committee Assistant, Home Affairs Committee, House of Commons) that the email to him that I posted above on January 8th in this blog series is apparently to be placed in evidence for the Home Affairs Committee.

    The effect of this “placing in evidence” will be to draw to the attention of the Committee the need for the Reports they require to be un-redacted, and to be supplemented by the Agendas and Minutes of all the Meetings to which those reports were brought.

    In short it is to allow the Committee to establish which decisions about child sex abuse in Rotherham were made by paid officers and which decisions were made by elected members, and on the basis of what information. A decision trail.

    It follows that the Home Affairs Committee should not take evidence from Councillor Wright until the Committee itself has a detailed grasp – from the RMBC documents they have ordered to be provided – of the decisions that were taken during the half decade for which Councillor Wright was the Chair of the Rotherham Child Safeguarding Board (Panel?).

    It may sound boring and slow – this focus on the paperwork – but the answers do usually lie in the detail.

    I repeated to Andy Boyd my view that the current SY Police Chief Constable David Crompton QPM should not be asked to give evidence in any session to which Councillor Wright is invited so that the possibility of the blurring of responsibilities in these matters of past systemic child abuse in Rotherham, however inadvertent, is avoided.

    The Chief Constable was not in office as Chief Constable in South Yorkshire during the tenure of Councillor Wright as Chair of the Rotherham Children’s Safeguarding Board (Panel?).

    He therefore could have played no part whatsoever in the events that took place in Rotherham during Councillor Wrights time in office as Chair of the Rotherham Children’s Safeguarding Board (Panel?).

    I will keep the blog posted.

    Kind regards

    Chris Longley MBE


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