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Fostering 'not about politics' says Rotherham UKIP couple

In my mind, fostering and adoption isn't about politics it's about giving care for the children, a safe living home where they can grow up into all-rounded citizens.

It's not about politics... They [the council] should apologise... We need some sort of assurance from the council that it [membership of UKIP] isn't going to make a difference.

– Anonymous foster father


UKIP foster couple's 'disbelief' at having children removed

A couple who had foster children removed from their care because of their membership of the UK Independence Party have spoken to ITV News about their "disbelief" at what happened. Speaking anonymously they said:

I just could not believe what I was hearing... and very upset as well.

We feel it's been a slur on our records because if this issue crops up again it may prevent us from fostering certain children, like ethnic minorities.

UKIP foster row couple condemn Rotherham Council

A couple who said they had three foster children removed from their care because they are members of UKIP said Rotherham Council leaders should consider resigning after failing to apologise.

The South Yorkshire couple claim the council told them they could only care for children who are white.

The foster mother told The Sun newspaper, "These children have now gone to other white, presumable British, couples. The only difference therefore is that these other people are not linked to UKIP".

"We wouldn't have taken these children on from an ethnic minority background if we had been racist".

"In fact the council are being racist towards us by saying that, yes, we can continue fostering - but for white children only", she added.

UKIP: 'Statement from council says absolutely nothing'

The statement from the council says absolutely nothing. They are clearly trying to sandbag the story.

Ukip support the couple in their demands to have the children back and feel that heads should roll.

We also feel there should be a national inquiry to ensure this is not happening in councils all across the country.

– Ukip chairman Steve Crowther

Labour welcomes Rotherham Council's investigation pledge

I welcome the statement from Rotherham Council and their commitment to provide full co-operation with the Department for Education's investigation, so any lessons can be learned both for Rotherham and other parts of the country.

We would be happy to work with Mr Gove’s team on any wider issues this raises as well.

The upmost concern for everyone should be that the situation for the three children is resolved in their best interests.

Being a UKIP member should not be a bar to being a foster or adoptive parent, the key factor is whether those parents are providing a safe and loving environment.

– Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg


Farage: 'Heads should roll' over Rotherham fostering row

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that Rotherham's head of children's services, Joyce Thacker, should lose her job over the fostering row that led to three children being taken away from their foster parents.

He also said the children should be returned to the couple.

I want them to be pardoned, I want the children to be returned to them and, yes, heads should roll.

Without any shadow of a doubt, (Ms Thacker) should go.

Mr Farage also indicated that his party is considering legal action against Rotherham Council.

If we are not going to get redress from Rotherham Council, we will have to consider other means. We are going to have to look at the legal route.

Farage: Rotherham couple had no choice but to go public

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he advised the couple who had their three foster children taken away by a council on the grounds that they are members of the party, to go public.

He told ITV News that he gave them the advice after they failed to get a suitable response from Rotherham Council.

He also said he knew of another case where someone was not able to be a mentor for Barnado's children's charity because they are members of UKIP.

Rotherham Council: Children 'safe and in very good care'

The leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Councillor Roger Stone, said in a statement:

This morning I received a report of the immediate investigation that was ordered early on Saturday by the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.

Having now listened to the initial report I am now able to set out the way forward.

Membership of UKIP should not bar someone from fostering.

The Council places the highest priority on safeguarding children, and our overriding concern in all decisions about the children in our care, is for their best interests.

We have been able to establish the facts in this case as far as is possible over the weekend, and I can confirm that the children are safe and in very good care.

The Secretary of State for Education has asked for an inquiry relating to this case over the weekend. The Council welcomes this. We will work very closely with and give full cooperation to the Department.

In order to help the investigation further, we will also make all the facts established so far available to the Secretary of State's officials.

The investigation will focus on the information, advice and evidence gathered before making this decision, the nature of the decision itself and how it was communicated.

Read the full statement on the council's website.

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