From Chris Longley MBE
Here is what I understand to be the latest information about the Home Affairs Select Committee investigation into systemic child sexual abuse, rape and trafficking.
The website of the Home Affairs Committee says that their Report into these dreadful matters is in preparation but gives no date for publication. The events in Rotherham are a part of their investigations. No doubt the Rotherham events will figure in the Report when it is published.
The following link will take readers of this blog to the written evidence pages of the Home Affairs Committee.
Readers will see that items 23 and 24/24a are submitted by Shaun Wright Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire and by Martin Kimber the Chief Executive of Rotherham MBC. I believe these to be recent additions.
Readers who are aware of the crimes committed against young children in Rotherham over an extended period will form their own views of the content of these submissions when they have read them.
What is however very clear is that the Home Affairs Committee have not listed as evidence any of the minutes, agendas or reports submitted to the Rotherham Children’s Safeguarding Board during 2005/6 to 2009/2010. I presume this means that the Committee did not receive them, despite a direct instruction in public from the Chair of the Committee – the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP – to Martin Kimber and Ms Joyce Thacker of RMBC at their oral evidence session to provide them.
I await with interest what the Committee decides to do in the light of their Chair’s instruction being ignored.
There presumably is therefore no timeline available to the Committee that can show what Councillor Wright knew, when he knew it, what advice he received or what decisions he took during that period when he was in the Safeguarding Board.
As a matter of interest I remain unaware of any occasion on which ex-Councillor Wright has told anyone in public the answers to these questions I list above. If anyone is aware, and has a credible record of what he said, I would be grateful if that record could be shared in the public domain. You will gather I am none the wiser as a result of reading either ex-Councillor Wrights letter or those from Martin KImber in his role as CExec of RMBC.
I have therefore applied to Rotherham MBC for these Rotherham Safeguarding Board documents to be made available to me as any member of the public may do. RMBC have twenty days to reply to me. I am told my request has been referred to the wonderfully named “Information Governance Team”.
I await their reply with great interest and I will inform this blog of the outcome.
Chris Longley MBE
PS I have written also in the stongest terms to the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP pointing out that his Committee has not recorded that it has received information it instructed should be provided by witnesses. I again ask myself at what point does non co-operation become contempt.
Full story: Exposing the truth on child exploitation in Rotherham
Letter from Kimber to Home Affairs Select Committee.
Letter from Wright to Home Affairs Select Committee.