Red-faced council chiefs in Rotherham have today admitted that couples should not be banned from fostering children because of their political leanings.
Children’s services officials in the town have been slammed for taking three children a foster family because the couple are members of the UK Independent Party.
Children’s chief Joyce Thacker admitted the three EU migrant children were taken away because of UKIP’s policy statements about multi-culturalism.
But today leader of Labour-run Rotherham Council , Roger Stone issued a statement welcoming a national inquiry into the case
He said:”This morning I received a report of the immediate investigation that was ordered early on Saturday by the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.
“Having now listened to the initial report I am able to set out the way forward.Membership of UKIP should not bar someone from fostering.
“The Council places the highest priority on safeguarding children, and our overriding concern in all decisions about the children in our care, is for their best interests.
“The Secretary of State for Education has asked for an inquiry relating to this case over the weekend. The Council welcomes this. We will work very closely with and give full cooperation to the Department.
” The Chief Executive has this morning invited the senior officials making the enquiries to meet with him and other council officers in Rotherham as soon as possible, so that this information can be rapidly reported to the Secretary of State.
“However, this remains a very complex case involving legal advice relating to the decision in question, particular features of the children’s background and an external agency responsible for finding and providing the foster carers concerned.
“In order to help the investigation further, we will also make all the facts established so far available to the Secretary of State’s officials.”
UKIP, who are taking legal advice over their next move, said: “We’re surprised that there has been no apology from Rotherham Council and we feel that they are hiding behind the complexity of the case.”