Rotherham MP Sarah Champion resigns from frontbench after The Sun article on grooming gangs

Sarah ChampionSarah Champion
Sarah Champion
ROTHERHAM MP Sarah Champion has resigned as shadow women and equalities secretary after a controversial article in a national newspaper caused a storm and led to her receiving death threats.

Ms Champion has stood down from her frontbench role following the row over an article in The Sun newspaper, in which she claimed that British Pakistani men are “raping and exploiting white girls”.

In a statement she apologised for any offence caused by “the extremely poor choice of words”, which appeared in the paper on Friday.

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“I am concerned that my continued position in the Shadow Cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career,” she added.

“It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as Shadow Secretary of State for women and equalities.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accepted Ms Champion's resignation and thanked her for her work in the shadow cabinet.

He added: "I look forward to working together in future."

Ms Champion’s resignation comes after she alleged the newspaper had altered the article, which ran with the headline: “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls — and it’s time we face up to it.” 

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But her claim — that she did not write the opening sentences— was disputed by the newspaper. 

A spokeswoman for the Sun added: “Sarah Champion’s column, as it appeared on Friday, was approved by her team and her adviser twice contacted us thereafter to say she was “thrilled with the piece and it “looked great”.