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.
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.