Fresh in from Wil Ewart:
The Times article at no point suggested that Akhtar had committed a criminal offence. If there was a clear implication it was about his getting involved to secure the release without prosecution of his relative.
That is despite the fact that his relative was clearly breaking the law by having a sexual relationship with a minor, one who had been taken into care; that he had taken her away from a safe environment without telling the authorities where and without their approval.
The spin that we will see over the next few weeks is that his primary purpose was to save the girl with a secondary interest in his relative.
There are some big flaws in this spin. The primary one being that the Police arrested the victim and let the perpetrator go free. Akhtar knew about this, and maybe even was party to negotiating the freedom deal.
Where does that leave him in terms of his refusal over many years to admit or confirm that child sexual abusers had been protected by the authorities, when he himself was a witness to it happening?
This case illustrates that Akhtar, Council and the Police have seriously misled on one key issue.
They denied a policy or practice of non-prosecution for some child sexual abuse offenders. That these unofficial pardons occurred when children were considered to be complicit in their own abuse.
The Times reported case is the crack which lets in the light, and while Akhtar can spin his motivations with impunity, he can no longer deny that he knew what was going on. The crack may turn into a crevice.
When the Rotherham Council Labour Group voted on whether or not they should promote a national enquiry into child sex grooming it was rejected. Which way did Akhtar vote, I wonder?
It is time for the Labour Party to act, as they have clear rules about bringing the Party into disrepute. There only difficulty is do they look at Akhtar or the whole of the Labour Group who have undertaken a complete cover up on this issue.
The NEC will no doubt say they will wait until the results of the Police enquiry, Even though the enquiry will probably not be into the actual sensitive issue.
Someone must refer this to the Labout Party NEC on the issue of disrepute.