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Rotherham council chiefs escape blame over abuse

SIX new reports into the Rotherham sex abuse scandal have been branded a ‘completely wasted opportunity’ after they concluded no one was to blame for failings that led to the exploitation of 1,400 children.

One review said there was a ‘widespread systemic failure’ at the council, rather than ‘anything for which individual practitioners can be held to account’.

The author of another report into the conduct of senior council managers told a meeting he had found it was ‘more cock-up than conspiracy’.

Lawyer Mark Greenburgh said ‘there’s simply little or anything Rotherham Council can do’ to take action against former senior staff. The reports were commissioned by the council after the 2014 Jay Report, which laid bare how more than 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of men of largely Pakistani heritage.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion, said last night: ‘I had hoped today’s reports would draw a line under the catalogue of errors that led to our children being let down so badly by those supposed to protect them.

‘However, despite these huge failures, it appears no individual at the council has yet been held to account for their role.’

The ex-shadow women and equalities secretary — forced to quit her role last month for saying the UK has a ‘problem with British-Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls’ — said it felt like a ‘completely wasted opportunity to allow the town to move forward’.