I am writing to make you aware of a report being launched today by Just Yorkshire titled “Understanding and assessing the impact of Rotherham MP, Sarah Champion’s comments in the Sun Newspaper on 10 August 2017”. It is referring to the interview I gave on Radio 4 and the article I wrote in response to the conviction of the Newcastle child sexual exploitation grooming gang in August 2017.
I was mortified that The Sun twisted my article and then the following day referenced it in a hate-filled article by Trevor Kavanagh. As a consequence, I stepped down from my Shadow Cabinet position and circulated an apology (included below) through the Council of Mosques to members of Rotherham’s Pakistani community as I was deeply sorry for any hurt or adverse reaction I had inadvertently caused them.
My article was seven months ago. The report by Just Yorkshire is based on an extremely limited survey, distributed and promoted through networks that are not made in any way clear in the report. It lays the blame for the hate crime faced by the Pakistani community, past and present, at my feet. They are entitled to their opinions but it is disappointing they did not consult with me over their findings or give me the right to reply before the report was circulated.
I am elected to represent all of Rotherham and I am very proud that the town has once again united as one community after we discovered the full horror of child sexual exploitation. I do not see how a report using highly provocative language against me aids us as a town or aids me to represent all of my constituents.
I am expecting a strong response to the report, which is why I wanted to contact you directly. Please be assured that I will continue to be your representative. I will not cease my fight to prevent all forms of child abuse, nor my opposition to hate crime and racism. I will continue fight to bring justice for the victims and survivors in our town and to strengthen our community.
Sarah Champion MP
Member of Parliament for Rotherham