Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
26 August 2014updated 23 Jul 2021 10:01am

Rotherham Council leader stands down as report finds 1400 children exploited over 16 years

The leader of Rotherham Council, Roger Stone, is standing down, as a report finds a "collective failure" by both the police and the local council to stop the abuse of children in the area.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, has announced that he is to step down with immediate effect.

He is resigning due to the findings of an investigation into widespread child sex abuse in the area, which found that there has been “appalling” exploitation of at least 1400 children in Rotherham over a 16-year period and condemned the police and local council’s “collective failure” to stop the abuse. Such widespread failings of the authorities to care for its young and vulnerable has made Stone’s position untenable.

Here are some lines from his statement of resignation:

I think it is only right that I, as leader, take responsibility on behalf of the council for the historic failings that are so clearly described in the report…

Like any right-minded person, I am disgusted by child sexual exploitation and abhor the lifelong damage that it wreaks upon the lives of all those affected by it. It is a matter of great regret for me, as it is for many others, that so many people have been traumatised by child sexual exploitation here in Rotherham.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A weekly round-up of The New Statesman's climate, environment and sustainability content. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

The report is highly critical of the council and its failure over nearly a decade to stop the abuse. You can read the full report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham here.