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MP emotional at launch of sexual exploitation law report

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has spoken emotionally at the launch of a report looking into child sexual abuse legislation.

The report carried out by the MP and charity Bernardo's will recommend stronger legislation to allow early intervention in suspected cases.

Paul Brand is there for Calendar.


Rotherham MP urges stronger child sexual exploitation laws

In the next few minutes the Rotherham MP Sarah Champion will speak in Westminster to call on the government to tighten up laws on child sexual exploitation.

A joint report by the MP and the Barnados children's charity says it should be made easier for police to intervene more quickly in cases where children are at risk. It also recommends giving specialist training to judges and lawyers involved in child grooming cases.

Rotherham MP hears evidence on child exploitation

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has been hearing evidence today from victims of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as part of an inquiry into the issue. The children have been telling a panel of politicians about their experiences and how they were treated by police and other agencies.

It comes after a series of high-profile cases in towns such as Rotherham, which revealed flaws in the way many victims are treated by the authorities. The inquiry was organised by Barnardos in conjunction with Sarah Champion, and is due to continue in January when MPs will hear from the police.

New MP takes seat in the Commons

Rotherham's new MP has officially taken her seat in the House of Commons this afternoon. Sarah Champion was welcomed to Westminster by some of her new colleagues before taking the oath on the floor of the House.

She became the town's first ever female Member of Parliament when she won last week's by-election and she replaces Denis MacShane, who resigned after a Commons Committee found he had wrongly claimed thousands of pounds in Parliamentary expenses


Labour retain Rotherham

Labour held onto Rotherham in a parliamentary by-election which saw a surge towards the UK Independence Party and disastrous results for both coalition parties.

Conservatives finished fifth behind not only Ukip but also the British National Party and Respect while Tory candidate Simon Wilson only held onto his deposit by a whisker. And LibDem Michael Beckett limped in eighth and lost his deposit, trailing behind the English Democrats and an Independent.

Labour's Sarah Champion won comfortably with 9,866 votes, a majority of 5,218 (24.46%) over Ukip. The party's majority in a seat it has held since 1933 was marginally down on the 27.9% it recorded in the 2010 general election.

Two women on Labour shortlist for MacShane seat

Denis MacShane Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A shortlist of two women has been drawn up to replace disgraced Labour MP Denis MacShane. A former RAF wing commander and the head of a children's hospice have been chosen by the Labour party's executive.

A selection meeting will be held by local party officials in Rotherham to decide who will stand for Labour in the by-election on November 29.

Former Labour minister Mr MacShane quit as an MP earlier this month after he wrongfully claimed at least £7,500 in expenses.

The two women chosen by Labour's executive are Sophy Gardner, who had a 19-year career in the RAF, and Sarah Champion, who runs the Bluebell Wood children's hospice in South Yorkshire.