Local and national politicians have welcomed Shaun Wright’s decision to stand down today - three weeks after the publication of the Jay report that exposed Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation scandal.
After resisting calls to quit since the day the report was published, Mr Wright announced today he no longer felt able to carry on in the job of police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire.
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Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “People in South Yorkshire will welcome the news that the police and crime commissioner has finally done the decent thing and stood aside. The important thing now is for the South Yorkshire Police to concentrate on going after the perpetrators of these terrible crimes so that the victims can finally see justice.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “It is right Shaun Wright has resigned. He was in a position of responsibility when the abuse scandal happened. Our focus now must be to listen to the victims and learn from the past to ensure this can never happen again.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I am pleased that Shaun Wright has heeded the calls from his local community for him to resign. It is right that where people failed in their duty they should take responsibility. The police and local council failed the victims of these awful crimes and failed the people of Rotherham.
“Police and Crime Commissioners are accountable to their local electorate. It is now for the people of South Yorkshire to elect someone who can provide local leadership, ensure the lessons of these dreadful cases are applied, and make sure the victims get the justice they deserve.”
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said she was ‘delighted’ Mr Wright was quitting.
But she added: “I am extremely frustrated that it has taken Shaun Wright three weeks to resign as this has detracted from the real story, the victims.”
Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey said: “I strongly welcome Shaun Wright’s resignation.
“It is the right move though too late – I called for him to step down as did the Labour leader straight after the Jay report was published.
“The Police and Crime Commissioner is elected by the public to give them a voice and make the police more open and accountable. In light of the Jay report, Shaun Wright has lost public confidence and the mandate to carry out that role.
“As a Rotherham MP I am determined to help ensure that victims are put first, that South Yorkshire Police secure many more prosecutions and convictions and that action is taken in full on every one of Jay’s recommendations.”
Colin Ross, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Sheffield Council, said: “I am pleased and relieved that Shaun Wright has finally done the decent thing and stood down as Police and Crime Commissioner.
“He should have stood down immediately following the publication of the report and his delay has been a distraction from the victims of these horrendous crimes. Now all agencies must concentrate on not only supporting the victims but bringing the perpetrators to justice.”