UKIP fostering storm: Rotherham Council report due today

TWO separate investigations have been launched after claims that foster parents in Rotherham had three children taken away because they were members of UKIP.

Cllr Paul Lakin, Rotherham Borough Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said he had ordered a review, due to report this morning, into reports over the weekend that children of East European origin had been removed by Rotherham social workers.

And Education Secretary Michael Gove said he had also ordered a probe.

Cllr Lakin said: “Membership of a political party should not stop someone fostering children.

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“The council takes it safeguarding responsibilities very seriously and always puts the needs of the children at the centre of that care.

“This was a decision taken by social services professionals and I have ordered an immediate investigation to establish the full facts of this decision and asked for the report to be on my desk on Monday morning.”

Meanwhile, education secretary Michael Gove branded the decision  “indefensible” and said that the Department for Education would hold its own investigation.

The foster parents told the Daily Telegraph that there was “no discussion” 

between them and social workers before the children were removed.

It was claimed that social workers accused the unnamed couple of belonging to a “racist party”.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was in Rotherham on Saturday, when he joined by-election candidate Jane Collins on the campaign trail and dismissed suggestions UKIP was a racist party as “rubbish.”

Ms Collins said that the decision was “beyond belief.”

She said: “The apparent ignorance of the social worker concerned is shocking and heads must roll.

“The Labour council is using bully boy tactics and instead of trying to defend the indefensible they should be apologising.

“They are now saying that they will allow the couple to foster just white children —- if that's isn’t racist I don't know what is.

“The social worker is quoted as saying that UKIP wants Europeans out of the country and returned to their own countries.

“That is both nonsense and an outrageous calumny. In fact my husband is half Hungarian and my in-laws full, that hardly makes me xenophobic.

“David Cameron said in a speech in Berlin a few weeks ago that multi-culturism doesn’t work in our country so does that mean that Rotherham Council will stop Tories from fostering as well?”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Membership of UKIP should not block parents from adopting children.

“There needs to be an urgent investigation by Rotherham Borough Council into this decision.”

The council’s head of children’s services, Joyce Thacker said UKIP’s stance on multiculturalism had been a factor.

“We have to think about their clear statement on ending multiculturalism, for example,” she said.

“The children were from EU migrant backgrounds and Ukip has very clear statements on ending multiculturalism, which might be sensitive to these children.”