Spotted this, I am sure readers will want to see it too.
The “floppy left” is failing vulnerable children because it will not confront the race factor in sex crimes involving street-grooming, according to a Labour frontbencher sacked for speaking out on the issue.
Sarah Champion attributed her party’s squeamishness to a liberal fear of being falsely branded racist.
The MP for Rotherham was dismissed from the shadow cabinet by Jeremy Corbyn last month after she wrote in an article for The Sun that Britain “has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.
A few days later Mr Corbyn accused the newspaper of inciting Islamophobia and stigmatising “entire communities”. Ms Champion’s departure from the Labour front bench led to claims that the party was stifling free speech.
In her first interview since being dismissed Ms Champion highlighted differences in attitudes towards race in London and in Labour’s northern heartlands.
“If I’m on the floppy left, to be accused of racism is probably the worst thing you can call me. That fear will motivate me to step away from a lot of topics I’d maybe tackle head on if I didn’t have that phobia,” she told The Times.
Ms Champion said that many Labour members and politicians based in London had “never been challenged by a reality that’s different” from their largely “tolerant, multicultural world”.
“London is not representative of the UK and it’s definitely not representative of the north of England in relation to race,” she said. “Rotherham and many post-industrial towns are still segregated.”
Ms Champion’s constituency is among a lengthening list of English towns, including Rochdale, Oxford and, most recently, Newcastle upon Tyne, in which groups of men largely of Pakistani origin have been convicted of multiple sex crimes against vulnerable white girls.
No similar prosecution has occurred in London. Ms Champion said that the “multicultural policies that I, through my working career, grew up with, and which Jeremy Corbyn grew up with, need a translation to come outside London”.
She said: “It’s not that Yorkshire’s racist, it’s that Yorkshire is very blunt and doesn’t sugar-coat anything. In Rotherham, people’s frustration is that if they all knew what was going on, why didn’t the people who were meant to protect them do anything about it?”
Ms Champion was strongly criticised by many Labour supporters last month when she called for research to understand why most of the convicted perpetrators of gang-linked sexual exploitation were of Pakistani heritage.
She said she found it extraordinary that some on the liberal left seemed less offended by her words than by her decision to write an article for a newspaper such as The Sun.
“Once you make a decision to be open and up front about what’s going on in this country, you want to get the broadest number of people to hear that message,” she said. “Rotherham has a working-class demographic and a lot of my older constituents read The Sun.
“I’m a Labour politician, I want us to be in government and I wanted to let people know we’re taking this seriously. I wanted to reach out to people that we don’t normally reach out to.”
Ms Champion drew a parallel between the reluctance of some people in her party to acknowledge the race factor in such crimes with the terror of being accused of racism that played a role in the longstanding failure of police forces and local authorities to prosecute offenders.
“By not dealing with the facts head on, you allow people to manipulate what’s going on.”
She emphasised that most child sexual abuse took place within the family and that the vast majority of convicted child-sex offenders in Britain were white men, usually acting alone.
“But for me, with this type of street-grooming crime, it’s no different to where we were in the recent past, with everyone knowing what was happening in the Catholic church but not doing anything about it.
“If, 15 years ago, we’d acknowledged there was a particular issue among a criminal subsection of men in the Pakistani community we could have addressed it, carried out the research and gained the understanding to challenge it, tackle it and eradicate it.”
•Sarah Champion has set up a website, dare2care.org.uk, which gives advice on how to identify and prevent all types of child abuse.
All posts in this series: https://rotherhampolitics.wordpress.com/rotherham-in-parliament/sarah-champion/sarah-champion-sacking/