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Rotherham's Borough Council has taken the decision to scrap their annual civic dinner in the wake of the damning reports into child sexual exploitation in the town. Deputy Mayor, councillor Maggi Clark, announced that it would be "wholly wrong" for the celebration to go ahead after the authority was branded "not fit for purpose" by a report earlier this month. The dinner, usually held in May, is used to announce the Mayor's charitable fundraising campaigns for the coming year.
A former senior official at children's care watchdog Ofsted has apologised for the organisation's failure to uncover widespread sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
John Goldup, who joined Ofsted as director of social care in 2009 and was appointed deputy chief inspector in 2012, said that the watchdog did not focus as it should have done on the dangers of child sex exploitation in inspections in the South Yorkshire town
Rotherham Council was last week taken under Government control and its entire political leadership resigned after the Casey Report's withering indictment of its failure to tackle monumental levels of child sexual exploitation.
Louise Casey's report came after an inquiry by Alexis Jay last year found that more than 1,400 children had been subjected to rape, violence and trafficking by gangs of mainly Asian men over a 16-year period.
Giving evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, Mr Goldup was asked whether he wanted to apologise to children in Rotherham.
The former deputy chief inspector stressed that he could not speak on behalf of Ofsted, but told MPs: "Yes I do. I agree entirely with what (Ofsted head) Sir Michael Wilshaw said to the Education Select Committee two weeks ago, that we didn't get it right with child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. He apologised for that and I apologise for that.
"The inspection frameworks at the time didn't have the focus on child sexual exploitation that they would and should have had if we had known and understood then what we know and understand now.
"It is clear from reading back over the inspection reports that we didn't appreciate the scale of the child sexual exploitation issue in Rotherham and we didn't scrutinise sufficiently the effectiveness with which it was being responded to."
Mr Goldup added: "Having said that, I would also want to point out to the committee that it was when Ofsted first directly went in to do a social care inspection in Rotherham in 2009, it was an Ofsted inspection that for the first time exposed the failings in Rotherham and said very clearly that Rotherham was a failing authority.
"I think that does also say something about the strength and the robustness of Ofsted inspection then and subsequently, but I absolutely accept that we didn't have the focus on child sexual exploitation that we certainly would and should have now."
The children's charity Barnardos says it has seen an 'unprecedented demand' for its help, in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
Over 2000 victims of the crime were supported by the charity last year - an increase of nearly 80 per cent . They say they need more money to cope with the rise in calls.
There is controversy surrounding a tweet posted by UKIP following the death of a South Yorkshire Police officer who was understood to be under investigation in connection with the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal. PC Hassan Ali was off-duty and on-foot when he was hit by a car on Staniforth Road at Darnall in Sheffield last week. He died from his injuries today. Chris Kiddey reports.
A Twitter account claiming to be the official account of Ukip in Plymouth has tweeted claiming that the death of a South Yorkshire Police Officer who was being investigated in connection with the Rotherham child abuse scandal was "karma".
The tweet was deleted shortly after being published.
PC Hassan Ali died this morning after a collision in Sheffield on Wednesday evening.
A South Yorkshire Police officer understood to be under investigation over the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal has died after a car crash, the force said.
PC Hassan Ali, aged 44, was off-duty and on-foot when he was hit on Staniforth Road, Sheffield, on Wednesday night.
Ch Cons David Crompton said he died in the early hours of this morning, with his family by his bedside.
It is understood that complaints had been made about PC Ali in relation to revelations that hundreds of children had been sexual exploitated in Rotherham, and he was under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
A petition has been launched calling for prosecutions of officers and former councillors over the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
London-based Jean Hatchet drew up the petition, which is addressed to Home Secretary Theresa May and South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, asking them to “begin prosecutions against those at Rotherham Council past and present responsible for covering up widespread child sexual abuse”.
Rotherham Council's interim chief executive says the authority accepts the damning criticism it faced in yesterday's inspection report.
Jan Ormondroyd said the report contained a "catalogue of cultural and system failings", and apologised for the "devastating impact that this has had on the lives of the people of Rotherham".
She added that the council needed a "move towards stability" and "the fresh start which [report author] Louise Casey and her team have called for".
Two of Rotherham Council's cabinet who resigned yesterday have said that none of its members were in denial.
Paul Lakin and Mahroof Hussain said in a joint statement they were disappointed the new cabinet, appointed after the publication of the Jay report in August, had been unable to change quickly enough:
Latest ITV News reports
A lawyer claims more evidence could emerge and the scandal "is not going away." David Greenwood represents 38 of 1,400 victims.
A police officer and two councillors are accused of having sex with victims of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, it has been reported.