Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Storm over Ukip parents foster move

Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, said it will investigate a decision to remove children from the care of foster carers who are members of Ukip
Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, said it will investigate a decision to remove children from the care of foster carers who are members of Ukip
Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Counci, said the authority will probe a decision to remove children from the care of foster carers who back Ukip
Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, said it will investigate a decision to remove children from the care of foster carers who are members of Ukip
Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Counci, said the authority will probe a decision to remove children from the care of foster carers who back Ukip

A council is investigating a decision to remove three children from the care of foster parents because they are members of the UK Independence Party.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council sparked outrage when it removed the children because the couple's political affiliation was seen as being at odds with the youngsters' European backgrounds.

By the council's own admission the youngsters were happy and there was no question mark over the foster parents' provision of care.

Council leader Roger Stone has said that the Labour-run authority would investigate what had happened after mounting condemnation from political leaders including, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Stone said: "We are going to investigate to make sure everything has been done professionally. If the professionals give advice, we take it.

"We are going to investigate - we always would if somebody complains. We are looking to make sure all the correct procedures were carried out before the decision was made.

"There is no policy, as has been implied, that if you are a British National Party member you can't foster children."

Joyce Thacker, the council's strategic director of children and young people's services, said the decision to remove the children was taken after consultation with lawyers.

Asked what the specific problem was with the couple being Ukip members, Mrs Thacker told BBC Breakfast: "These children are from EU migrant backgrounds and Ukip has very clear statements on ending multiculturalism, not having that going forward, and I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children." She added that there was no issue about the quality of care the couple provided and said she would co-operate with any investigation.

Mr Gove, who was himself adopted as a child, said social workers had made "the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons" and that he would be personally investigating and exploring steps to "deal with" the situation.

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