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Rotherham abuse: Council leader and cabinet to resign after damning report

Rotherham Borough Council's leader, Paul Lakin, and the authority's cabinet are to resign after a damning report into the authority found it was "not fit for purpose". Government-appointed commissioners are set to take over.

Louise Casey's report into the handling the grooming scandal in the borough - commissioned by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles - accused the council of attempts to cover-up evidence and past and present failures in leadership.

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Rotherham report: Ex-PCC 'refused to be interviewed'

Shaun Wright resigned in September after public anger about the abuse scandal. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

South Yorkshire's former Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright refused to be interviewed as part of an inspection of the borough's council, the author of today's damning inspection report said.

Wright - who had been a councillor in the town and responsible for children's services - resigned in the wake of a previous report by Professor Alexis Jay, which claimed that more than 1,400 children had been abused in the area between 1997 and 2013.

The council's former leader Roger Stone also declined an invitation for interview.

Despite other resignations in the wake of that report - such as that of chief executive Martin Kimber and director of children's services, Joyce Thaker - Louise Casey's more recent inspection found a continued denial of any wrongdoing among current council leaders.

When inspectors commenced work in Rotherham, we were struck by the overwhelming denial of what Professor Jay set out in her report. This attitude was so prevalent that we had to go back through many of the aspects of her work in order to satisfy ourselves that the council had no grounds upon which further action could be delayed.

– Louise Casey

Casey added: "When asked, 70% of the current Rotherham councillors we spoke to (including those in the Cabinet) disputed Professor Jay's findings."

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