MP was never told about child sex abuse

A South Yorkshire MP has said he is ‘shocked’ by the findings of the Jay report – despite his daughter being a Rotherham councillor for the past 14 years.

Kevin Barron’s daughter Amy Rushworth has been a councillor since 2000 and his brother Colin was a councillor until he was voted out earlier this year.

But Mr Barron said he could ‘not at all’ remember any discussion with either of them about the issue of child sexual exploitation by Asian gangs in Rotherham.

The Labour MP for Rother Valley, who has represented the area since 1983, said that in the past 16 years he had only ever been approached by one family in regard to child abuse issues.

Mr Barron said he helped to raise the matter with the police and ensured the victim and her father gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in January 2013.

The MP told The Star: “It now appears that this case was not a relatively rare one as I had thought and that the abuse by her attackers and subsequent failure of response by the very agencies whose role it was to protect her was a widespread situation and just the tip of the iceberg in terms of child sexual exploitation.”
Mr Barron said local MPs have regular meeting with council leaders every three months and he could not remember the issue of child sexual exploitation ever being brought up for discussion.

“I can’t remember ever having a conversation about child sexual exploitation or anything like that,” he said.

He also joined Prime Minister David Cameron in calling for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright to step down.