Labour MP raises concerns about ‘inappropriate’ behaviour towards children
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion argued that abuse was ‘always about power’.
Labour MP Sarah Champion has raised concerns about child sexual abuse.
The former frontbencher, in an interview with the Commons House magazine, also alleged that sitting MPs could “in some way or another” have been “involved” in abusive or inappropriate behaviour.
In the interview, Ms Champion argued that abuse was “always about power” and that it did “not take a conspiracy theorist” to realise how MPs could abuse their power.
Ms Champion went on to claim that former prime minister David Cameron understood the need to take on child sexual abuse because he is a father – and said the issue has dropped off Theresa May’s “radar”.
It is not the first time the Rotherham MP has made bold claims about abuse – last year she was forced to resign from the Labour frontbench after writing a newspaper column in which she described the “problem” of white girls being raped by British Pakistani men.
Speaking to The House magazine, Ms Champion said: “One in 20 children will have a sexual assault against them.
“When you look at something inappropriate happening to them that drops dramatically to one in four girls and one in eight boys.
“That might be inappropriate language or made to feel uncomfortable or in a compromising situation – not necessarily being physically groped.
“So, there is no way that there aren’t people who are sitting MPs who aren’t involved in some way or another or a member of their family is.
“I mean, that’s just the reality and I know that’s very uncomfortable and no one wants to think about it.”
She added: “I do not feel with this government that (tackling child sexual abuse) is a priority at all.
“David Cameron got it and I think he got it because I went to him as a dad rather than going to him as a politician.
“Theresa May was great when she was Home Secretary and then as soon as she shifted to PM it’s dropped off the radar. It’s clearly not a priority for them. It’s someone else’s problem.”
Ms Champion went on to say that she believed until female genital mutilation (FGM) is viewed as child abuse, we will always “turn the other cheek”.
She said: “Until we start viewing it in terms of child abuse and gendered violence we always give people a get out, or we always find that we turn the other cheek.
“Again, it’s the same as Rotherham. We don’t want to be seen as being culturally insensitive.”