Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley, Robbie Moore, brought his push for a “Rotherham-style inquiry” into child sex abuse (CSA) to parliament on Tuesday.
Mr Moore, who was elected in 2019, has been vocal about the need for an in-depth investigation into CSA since a report came out in July looking at five cases of abuse, with two cases dating back twenty years.
Opening his speech, he describes the issue as being “swept under the carpet”. He goes on to say that: “Local government leaders and people in positions of influence have a duty of care to protect the most vulnerable in society, our young people, women and girls.
“People need to open their eyes to this issue, we know that young children remain at risk. It is about time that we tackle this horrific, vile, and criminal activity once and for all.
“In my mind, in order to move forward, we must call this issue out for what it is. Hold the authorities who have failed our communities for far too long to account. Grasp the scale of the problem, and understand the complexities of this issue.”
He then told the House of Commons: “Let’s call this problem out for what it is: predominantly a small minority of largely Pakistani Muslim men in West Yorkshire, including, I’m sad to say, in Keighley and across the Bradford district, that have been sexually exploiting young children for far too long.
“The Pakistani community are quite rightly outraged that the entire community is being branded with the same accusation. It is not fair and it is deeply offensive.
“This isn’t about race or pitching communities against each other, it’s about looking at the facts so we can address them head-on and move forward. We need a Rotherham-style inquiry to address these issues.”
The report published in July by Bradford Partnership looked at the multiple failings of five children who suffered from child sex abuse. Two of the cases were classed as “non-recent”, dating back to the early 2000s.
The report mentioned that there is an “unknown number of victims” across Bradford and Keighley, and an “unknown number of perpetrators”. Speaking to Asian Standard previously, Mr Moore said that this “raises more questions than it answers” and therefore is deserving of a “Rotherham-style inquiry” into the horrific crime.
The investigation in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was an in-depth independent inquiry into CSE in the area between 1997 and 2013, written by Professor Alexis Jay OBE, a former chief inspector of social work, was commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
The Rotherham investigation estimates that 1400 children were victims of abuse and that one-third of the children involved were previously known to services because of child protection and neglect.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire Alison Lowe, leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe, and Jane Booth, Independent Chair of The Bradford Partnership, all have publially stated that they do not want this type of investigation to go ahead. Instead, they have passed the buck onto the national review of child exploitation, a report that is due to come out next year, which Robbie Moore thinks is not good enough.