Ukip foster care couple 'surprised' at lack of apology from Rotherham council after it removed children from their care

 

A couple who had three foster children removed from their care because of their membership of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) have said they are surprised they have had no apology from the council involved.

They were responding to a new statement on the controversy by under-fire Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council which pledged full support to an inquiry ordered by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

But the message from council leader Roger Stone offered no apology to the South Yorkshire couple.

In a statement of their own, issued through Ukip, they said: "We are surprised there has been no apology from Rotherham Borough Council and feel they are hiding behind the complexity of this case."

The pair have not been identified to protect the trio of EU-migrant children involved in the case. They lost the youngsters when Rotherham Council social workers discovered their political allegiance, which they deemed incompatible with caring for the youngsters.

The foster couple, a qualified nursery nurse and a former Royal Navy reservist, said in an ideal world they would like the children back but their chances have been wrecked because they do not want to cause them any more upheaval.

They spoke out after being told by the social worker that Ukip was a racist party.

The children, a baby girl, a boy and an older girl, were removed by social workers after the Labour-run council reportedly received an anonymous tip-off about the foster parents' membership of the right-wing party which wants withdrawal from the European Union and immigration curbs.

Social workers said they were concerned about the children's "cultural and ethnic needs".

In his statement today, Coun Stone said he had now received an initial report from his officials.

He said: "As we said on Saturday, 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.

"We have been able to establish the facts in this case as far as is possible over the weekend, and I can confirm that the children are safe and in very good care."

But the Labour council leader said it was a "very complex case" involving legal advice and an external agency.

He said: "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 co-operation to the Department."

Coun Stone said: "This is a sensitive child protection case. It involves both vulnerable children and the foster carers, so the information the council is able to release publicly is limited by law.

"At all stages, however, we will seek to be as open and transparent as possible as we co-operate with the Secretary of State."

Details of the incident emerged on Saturday and provoked widespread condemnation from political leaders including Mr Gove and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Gove, who was himself adopted as a child, said social workers had made "the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons" and that he would be personally investigating.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said today Rotherham's head of children's services Joyce Thacker should lose her job over the row and the children should be returned to the foster parents.

And he indicated that the party is considering legal action to get redress from the council.

He said: "The council have simply pulled up the drawbridge and refused to discuss the issue.

"There is no apology to the foster carers for the slur on their character, nor any indication that their situation will be reinstated.

"It is not acceptable for the council to prevaricate on this, we want to see action now.

"Ordinary people all over the country - and most senior politicians, with the notable exception of David Cameron - are absolutely incensed about this case. Rotherham Council should apologise immediately, and heads should roll.

"Joyce Thacker should surely go, along with any other senior managers who have endorsed this bigoted and discriminatory policy.

"We are also calling for an independent inquiry on a national scale, to find out the extent to which this is happening elsewhere.

"From evidence now emerging, it would seem that Rotherham may be the tip of an iceberg of politically-motivated discrimination in children's services."

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: "I welcome the statement from Rotherham Council and their commitment to provide full co-operation with the Department for Education's investigation, so any lessons can be learned both for Rotherham and other parts of the country.

"We would be happy to work with Mr Gove's team on any wider issues this raises as well.

"The uppermost concern for everyone should be that the situation for the three children is resolved in their best interests.

"Being a Ukip member should not be a bar to being a foster or adoptive parent - the key factor is whether those parents are providing a safe and loving environment."

PA

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn