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.
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.
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.
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.
Rotherham Borough Council, which removed three foster children from a couple because of their membership of UKIP, has said it will be "as open and transparent as possible" as it co-operates with an investigation ordered by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is expected to reveal more today about its decision to remove three children away from their foster parents because the couple were members of the UK Independence Party.