Britain’s South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Shaun Wright has rejected calls for resignation following the publication of a report into the abuse of hundreds of children.
Wright made the remarks on Wednesday, saying he is currently the most appropriate person to hold the post.
The rejection came a day after the release of an independent report on the sexual exploitation of at least 1,400 children in the Yorkshire town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The report also detailed gang rapes, grooming, trafficking and other sexual exploitation on a wide scale in the town.
Wright was a councilor for Rotherham until he was elected as the PCC in 2012 and he was also a cabinet member responsible for children’s services at Rotherham Council from 2005 to 2010.
According to the report, while Wright was a cabinet member, he received three studies about widespread abuse; however, he failed to take action over the child exploitation.
Following the report’s publication, several officials began calling on Wright to step down in the wake of the scandal.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Sheffield City Council Colin Ross said, “Lessons must be learnt and those responsible must be held to account,” adding, “Shaun Wright was the councilor in charge of children’s services at Rotherham Council and also sat on the Authority of South Yorkshire Police when both organizations knew about the level of child sexual exploitation, but chose not do anything about it.”
Meanwhile, another Rotherham official, Council Leader Roger Stone, resigned within hours of the release of the report.