Rotherham Council deputy resigns

Councillor Jahangir Akhtar
Councillor Jahangir Akhtar
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Councillor Jahangir Akhtar has tonight stepped down from his role as Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council and as Vice Chair of the Police and Crime Panel, Rotherham Council has announced.

The council has also referred allegations made in The Times newspaper today, relating to Coun Akhtar, to South Yorkshire Police.

A council spokesman said it would be for the police ‘to consider if any criminal offence has been committed and to undertake any appropriate criminal investigation’.

Mr Akhtar said his resignation was ‘temporary’.

“I am standing down temporarily as Deputy Leader of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council,” he said, “and as Vice-Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel as a matter of courtesy to those agencies to resolve any enquiry as quickly as possible.”

Mr Akhtar is related to a man at the centre of sexual grooming allegations dating back 14 years.

And four women say they may sue Rotherham Council for its ‘systemic failures to protect them from sexual abuse when they were children’.

The Times today printed allegations a 14-year-old girl was allowed extensive contact with a violent adult offender suspected of grooming young girls for sex while she was in the care of Rotherham social services.

The offender is a relative of 52-year-old Mr Akhtar.