MP Keith Vaz has said he is ‘astounded’ that former Rotherham children’s services boss Joyce Thacker was given a £40,000 pay-off to leave the authority.
Mr Vaz, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which has been investigating the Rotherham scandal, said the payment to Mrs Thacker as part of the ‘mutual agreement’ for her to leave Rotherham Council was inappropriate.
Details of the pay-off were revealed by The Star on the same day the select committee published a report criticising the way Mrs Thacker and others had handled the town’s child sexual exploitation problems.
Mr Vaz said: “I am astounded that taxpayers’ money has been used in what will be seen as a reward for the failures of Rotherham Council.
“The committee recommended Joyce Thacker, and others, resign for their inaction in light of the huge number of child sexual abuse cases.
“It was inappropriate of her to accept such a large sum when she left. I hope action will be taken to ensure that this money is repaid, and that large pay-offs cannot be given under similar circumstances in the future.”
UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Jane Collins has said the payment was ‘an insult to the victims’ of child abuse in the town.
Ms Collins said: “She presided over the catastrophic failure of children in the town and should have been sacked without a penny of compensation. If the woman had a shred of decency she would refuse the payment, or donate it to a charity.”
Mrs Thacker had been head of children’s services since 2008 and was deputy head for two years prior to her departure last month.