Sarah Champion, the Labour MP, Who Warned About the Asian Grooming Gangs

As I’ve said in the previous article, the Tories and the populist right are trying to present the grooming gangs scandal as the fault of the Labour party, as the gangs were allowed to get away with their monstrous crimes in towns with Labour-run councils. This is part of a wider strategy of divide and rule to alienate the White working class from the Black and Asian community and the Labour party. But Mark Pattie, one of the many great commenters on this blog, has pointed out that it was the Labour MPs Simon Danczuk and Sarah Champion who worked to bring the gangs to justice. Champion, however, was forced to resign from the Labour front bench after writing a piece in the Scum stating that the gangs were Pakistani. This is largely true, though they also included scumbags of other ethnicities. She was accused of racism, but also had the support of Sara Rowbotham, the whistleblower on the council who exposed the gangs, as well as members of the Sikh, Hindu and Pakistani communities. Rowbotham was also played by the actress Maxine Peake in a BBC drama about the gangs, Three Girls. I found a piece by Rachel Wearmouth in the Huffington Post from 17th September 2017 in which Rowbotham defended Champion. It begins

Rochdale Grooming Scandal Whistleblower Defends Sarah Champion And Slams Austerity

Council worker played by Maxine Peake said the Labour Party has to encourage debate after race row.

The hero whistleblower of the Rochdale abuse scandal has said Sarah Champion should not have lost her job over controversial race comments she made in The Sun.

Champion was sacked as Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister after saying “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men” raping white girls in a column in the newspaper in the wake of fresh grooming prosecutions in Newcastle.

But Sara Rowbotham, the woman lauded for exposing a criminal gang who abused young girls in Rochdale, has defended the Rotherham MP.

Rowbotham, now a Labour councillor, said Champion should not have made “sweeping statements” but told HuffPost UK: “We should be exploring all the issues, not just shutting people down because we don’t like what they are saying.

“Sarah Champion has been a real champion for young people in Rotherham and she has worked hard, but she disappointed me by some of the things that she said, and that she said them in The Sun.”

Corbyn said the Labour Party was “not going to blame any particular group, or demonise any particular group.”

Champion was branded “racist” by many Labour supporters but a number of Sikh, Hindu and British Pakistani groups came to her defence, saying in a letter to The Times she had taken a “courageous stand” in highlighting “a clear trend in criminality.”

Asked if Champion should have kept her job, Rowbotham said “yes,” before adding: “We have to encourage debate.

“If the Labour Party is a broad church then those views should be allowed to be heard but also be heard with something substantial that argues back against it, or that encourages the debate further.”

Rowbotham, who was portrayed by Maxine Peake in the BBC docudrama Three Girls, added: ”[Champion] is a knowledgeable, articulate woman. We benefit from having that debate with her.”’

For further information, please go to https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/sara-rowbotham-sarah-champion_uk_59bbad52e4b02da0e14106d5.

I have the greatest respect for Danczuk, Rowbotham and Champion for acting against the gangs, even if some of Champion’s comments were tactless at best. And kudos too to the Asians who supported her. Their support graphically demonstrates that the grooming gangs are not some kind of intrinsic problem within the Asian community or Islam. The gangs were anti-White racists, but they were also just evil men preying on the vulnerable.

We need to bear this in mind and come together to oppose the grooming gangs, along with all other kinds of racism. And very definitely not let the Tories distort this to divide this country’s hard-pressed working people from each other to their benefit and that of an exploitative privileged elite.

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3 Responses to “Sarah Champion, the Labour MP, Who Warned About the Asian Grooming Gangs”

  1. Mark Pattie Says:

    Thanks for the mention. I kind of wonder whether her courage helped her keep her seat Labour, otherwise Rotherham would’ve gone Con in 2019? As for the “Labour councils…” smear, that can be easily debunked. Not all Labour councils with significant Pakistani-origin populations have problems with these gangs- I’ve never heard of any operating in Preston, Ashton-under-Lyne or Bolton (which I think is now Con anyway) for instance. Plus Telford has been Tory for a good few years I think now.

  2. Mark Pattie Says:

    Slightly off topic here, but speaking of Tommy Rottenscum and his cronies, I believe Anne Marie Waters has dissolved her practically-nonexistent For Britain Party. Oh boo sodding hoo(!) It was obsessed with Islam (even though I suspect I had more knowledge of the religion from my GCSEs than her), and I vaguely remember something about her saying “We must reduce the Muslim birthrate in this country”. Fascist or what? Jolly good riddance to her.

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