UK & World News
UKIP Foster Care Row: Investigation Launched
Rotherham Council has launched an investigation into the decision to remove three foster children from a couple because of their membership of the UK Independence Party.
Councillor Paul Lakin, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Family Services, made the announcement following criticism from across the political spectrum.
"This was a decision taken by social services professionals and I have ordered an immediate investigation to establish the full facts of this decision and asked for the report to be on my desk on Monday morning," he said.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage condemned the case as "outrageous", while Education Secretary Michael Gove, who was himself adopted as a child, said the Labour-controlled council's decision was "plain wrong" and "indefensible".
The three children were removed from the care of an unnamed couple from South Yorkshire, who have been fostering for seven years.
They had taken on a baby girl, a boy and an older girl from an non-indigenous white British and troubled family background in September.
Less than eight weeks into the placement they were visited by a Rotherham social worker and foster agency official, who accused them of belonging to a party with "racist policies" and unsuitable to look after the children.
The husband and wife told The Daily Telegraph they were left "dumbfounded" and "offended".
The visit followed an anonymous tip-off about the couple's party membership.
Rotherham Council had earlier said it needed to consider the children's "cultural and ethnic needs" and highlighted UKIP's policy on multiculturalism.
Mr Gove told Sky News: "I think it's quite, quite wrong for Rotherham Council, or indeed for any other local authority, to say that people should not be foster or adoptive parents on these grounds."
But Downing Street rejected reports that Prime Minister David Cameron had retracted a previous statement made on LBC radio in 2006 where he referred to Ukip members as "fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists mostly".
A spokesman said: "We haven't retracted anything. The Prime Minister never said that every single member of Ukip is a racist and the point about adoption cases is parents need to be judged on their merits, not affiliation to a political party."
Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director of Children and Young People's services at the council, said the children had been placed with the couple as an emergency and it was never going to be a long-term arrangement.
However, Mr Farage demanded an apology from the council for the "concern and the upset they have caused".
He told Sky News he had spoken to the couple, who were "very upset and distressed" by what had happened.
He insisted: "UKIP is a non-racist, non-sectarian political party. I mean, for goodness sake, we have got the Croydon North by-election going on at the moment where Jamaican-born Winston McKenzie is our candidate, so there are absolutely no grounds for this at all."
Labour leader Ed Milband told Sky News: "Being a member of UKIP should not be a bar to adopting or fostering children."
The Daily Telegraph said the couple had denied they were racist and told the officials they would not have taken them on if they were.
The wife said: "I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, 'What has UKIP got to do with having the children removed?'
"Then one of them said, 'Well, UKIP have got racist policies'. The implication was that we were racist."
She said she was left "bereft", adding: "We felt like we were criminals. From having a little baby in my arms, suddenly there was an empty cot."
The woman also said the council feared the couple could not meet the children's cultural needs in the long term - a claim the family denied.
"We were actively encouraging these children to speak their own language and to teach us their language," she was quoted as saying by the Sheffield-based Star newspaper.
"We enjoyed singing one of their folk songs in their native language, and having been told of the religious denomination of these children, we took steps to ensure that a school of their denomination was found."
what do you think?
Left wing social workers who are thick. Them and the council should be sued. Enough said.
This is disgusting, at a time when theres a shortage of foster parents .these peaple took these children in to care for them and to give them some stability and what happens, some idiots from the council come along and take the kids away upsetting the children and why??? Because the parents belong to ukip ??? How ridiculous.these council workers need to get their facts right before removing kids from the family home.hope they will be reunited soon and the sooner the better.someone at this council needs to get a grip.
THESE CHILDREN ARE BEING RACIALLY ABUSED Not by the foster parents but by the local authorities we have a major problem in this country with frosting and adoption if you over weight or over a certain age your not eligible if your a couple of same sex that's ok if you love children of any creed but you don't hold the same political views as the council then the answers no .I always though that the welfare of the children came first
The health, safety and security of children is of paramount importance regardless of other factors. According to a TV interview all was well in this regard - it was membership of UKIP which caused concern. I am not a UKIP member - some might even describe me as a Leftist thinker. But as far as I am aware UKIP are a legally recognised political party. Like many others, I really don't like tory policies (LibDem or the current Labour lot either, come to think of it) so does that mean that, on a whim, tories / LD / NL members should also be excluded from carrying out such socially responsible activities? Perhaps we should bear in mind Martin Niemöller's 'They came for me'.
Well done to the council UKIP is a political party that is even far more right wing than the Tories, and from what I have seen of the Tories not one of them has compassion so God only knows what these UKIP supporters are like!
Here we go again, another pinko with a chip on his shoulder
d and d Phillips
Some people in Rotherham enjoy the northern delicacy of tripe. You appear to have a taste for it too. And Rotherham Council seem to have it in their lunchboxes.
Why make a political issue when the real issue is the childrens welfare".well done to the council for upsetting what seems to have been a happy home" what an idiotic statement
Lee Wright Addy
its excusable - even predictable for an uniformed person to jump to the conclusion that the ukip is a racist party... but for the decision to have come from a pannel - TOTALLY CRAZY
UKIP is the love child of David Cameron and nick Griffin. Would you want them as mummy and daddy
What utter rubbish.
Are you on something? We UKIPPERS dispise Cameron and would see an election tomorrow if it removed the fool. In Corby, the white working class and ex-conservative voters pusher the DimLibs into 4th place and took almost half of the Conservative vote.
I suspect that what ali baba means is that UKIP is halfway between the conservatives and the BNP on the right wing of politics. He's just using the "parenting" analogy for emphasis.
Mick salt, the voice of reason. Mick please start a political party, cause you will have a follower in me :)
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What are ukip policies? I follow no parties, just curious!
There's a lot in the name Julie - Independence 1. A referendum on the EU 2. Theis country to remain sovereign and decocratic to decide our own future without 75% of our laws decided by the EU - as is the present case 3. Fiscal responsibility - government to balance the books 4. Take 4.5 million low earners out of tax with the EU savings 5. Protect our borders 6. No cuts to front line policing 7. Assure promt health care for all 8. Uphold British traditional values - such as fairness throughout society For some reason the lefties including the BBC consider this to be offensive, which says more about them than it does about UKIP.
Forgive the spelling errors, bit of a rush this morning
basiclly tell the gov to get there finger out or vote this party in and they will do it..thought it might be kill all blacks or worse but a party trying to improve G.B and stop the E.U who and who not we can throw out our country
Give social services some power over people's lives and they become little Stalins, I've read before where if applicants to be foster parents don't display the "correct" political and social credentials then social services officials immediately blacklist them.
Shameful. Somebody clearly didn't do their homework before making such a rash heavy handed and offensive move. I thought the drift of all these things was 'the children's welfare must come first'. This shows it's maybe a second at best behind somebody wanting to force their own views on others.... probably a Labour council.
d and d Phillips
If these parents were members of the Raving Loony Party would they have been relieved of their charge on the grounds of mental health? I doubt it. This is politically driven, and political drivel.
d and d Phillips
I see there is a by election in Rotherham on 29th November.........................
If the members of the rotherham constituancy have enough backbone they could cause a whole lot of problems for their local Mp's & council. I say everyone vote UKIP and wake the narrow minded bigots up. UKIP will never run parliament but cause a major upset here
i dont like racists .but the way this joke GOV IS DOING EVERYTHING ..i may vote B.N.P..so this makes me a racist.,,,or let me think does not this GOV tell us we have freedoom of choice,,,
What did the council think the foster parents were going to do? Hold a sacrificial ceremony, drink the children's blood and burn them at the stake? Bloody idiots, if they were racist they would not take on multi national children because that goes against the inbred grain of racists and the parents would actually be putting themselves at risk of harm etc from said inbreds. There are a low % of people willing to take on waifs & strays as it is without the current ones being persecuted
The ordinary man in the street has more to think about than being racist. It;s the PC do gooders that cause all the problems. We musn't wear a cross or we musn't fly a Union Flag. God protect us from misguded PC buffoons.
"Careful consideration" does that mean a couple of social workers sitting round a table talking rubbish about politics, and coming up with a pathetic decision that classes UKIP as racist. I feel that I can't express an opinion on multi-culturalism in this country for fear of being called racist, is this how they want people to feel in order to quash any pride in the British identity we have known in our lifetime.
Roy E Millington
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What an utter disgrace