A call for accountability for those who overlooked child abuse has been issued by David Cameron in the wake of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.
Social services bosses should face the sack if they fail to protect children from abuse, the Prime Minister said.
He said local authorities are responsible for their officials and should ‘hold them to account’ and remove anyone who does not ‘do the job properly’.
Mr Cameron’s comments come after a report revealed at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham. The Star reported yesterday that councillors knew about abuse but were told not to speak out.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, the PM noted concerns that the police and other agencies sometimes ignored the victims as they ‘felt they were beyond the pale.
He said the approach ‘offends all our senses of human decency’.
Mr Cameron added: “What we’ve seen in Rotherham is deeply shocking and as I have said it demonstrates a failure in the local government system, in the children’s services department and in policing, and all those issues need to be addressed, which is why I’ve asked Home Secretary Theresa May to chair a group of ministers to look at how we learn the lessons even before we get our child abuse inquiry fully under way.
“Local authorities when they employ these people should look carefully at contracts and make sure if people don’t the job properly they can be removed. It’s absolutely vital.
“You cannot police all of this from Whitehall. Local government has responsibility for the people it employs and should hold them to account.”