South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has revealed he plans to stand down in two years time but won’t quit immediately over the child sex grooming scandal in Rotherham.
Mr Wright, aged 46, who was elected into the role in November 2012 representing the Labour party, insists it is not the right thing for him to go immediately.
He said the £1.5m cost of holding a by-election was not in the public interest and the money could be ‘better spent on investigating Child Sexual Exploitation’. Mr Wright said: “It has been the most painful week of my life. But I think I am the best man to take things forward with my knowledge and expertise.
“I plan to see out my term but will not be standing in two years time.”
Mr Wright said: “Since taking over as Police and Crime Commissioner I have dramatically increased spending on tackling child sexual exploitation. Two years ago we had only three officers dealing with this issue. Another 50 officers are now dealing with the problem and I’m increasing that by another 50.
He added: “I have said to the Chief Constable David Crompton whatever resources are necessary will be made available to investigate charges of CSE and we will absolutely investigate the old cases where we can.”
Mr Wright was Rotherham council’s cabinet member for Children’s Services between 2005 and 2010 when he resigned from the post after a heavily critical report about how it was run. Details of the child grooming scandal had yet to emerge, however.
Mr Wright has faced calls to resign from Prime Minister David Cameron, Home Secretary Theresa May and Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg.
Mr Wright’s deputy Tracey Cheetham has already resigned along with leader of Rotherham Council Coun Roger Stone after the devastating report by Professor Alexis Jay.
It revealed 1,400 girls had been subject of child sex grooming by Pakistani men but the police and council in Rotherham failed to act for fear of being labelled racist.