Rotherham Deputy leader cleared of false allegations

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The Labour Group in Rotherham has welcomed the re-appointment of Councillor Jahangir Akhtar as Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council.

He stepped down from the role after allegations in a national newspaper that he knew a teenage girl in care was in a relationship with a violent adult offender he is a distant relative of.

The allegation was made during a series of revelations about the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Leaked council and police reports revealed authorities had known of the problem of gangs of men grooming girls for sex but had failed to act because of sensitivities surrounding the ethnicity of the alleged perpetrators.

South Yorkshire Police investigated the allegation regarding Coun Akhtar and found ‘no evidence’ to support the accusation and said he would not face any action.

A Labour Group spokesman said: “Rotherham Labour Group welcome the news that Councillor Jahangir Akhtar has been cleared of all the allegations made against him in the recent Times newspaper article.

“Coun Akhtar always maintained his innocence throughout the investigations and co-operated fully with the enquiry.

“Rotherham Labour Group members want to thank South Yorkshire Police for conducting a thorough investigation and setting out the results in such clear terms.

“Rotherham Labour Group have confirmed that Coun Akhtar has resumed his duties as Deputy Leader of Rotherham Borough Council along with his role as the Vice Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel.”

Councillor Terry Sharman stood in as Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council for the duration of the police investigation.