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MP criticises time taken over Telford child-grooming inquiry

By Mark Andrews | Telford | Crime | Published:

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard has criticised the amount of time it is taking to organise a public inquiry into child-sex abuse.

Mark Pritchard

Mr Pritchard told the Commons he was unhappy with the amount of time it was taking to set up the investigation.

He criticised Telford & Wrekin Council for the delay in holding the inquiry into child grooming gangs in the borough.

Speaking in the House on Monday, Mr Pritchard asked Home Secretary Sajid Javid: "Would the Home Secretary agree with me that the delay by Telford & Wrekin Borough Council in setting up an independent inquiry into the child grooming in that borough is completely unacceptable, and that they need to get on with it for the victims and the victims' families?"

Mr Javid replied that he agreed with Mr Pritchard.

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"I think it's very unfortunate it's been delayed, it's very important to the interests of justice, and to the victims and their families, I would hope the council just gets on with it."

However, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member Councillor Lee Carter said that Mr Pritchard's attention to the matter was welcome but misguided.

He said the Telford inquiry was the first of its kind in the country, and was being being established by independent law firm Eversheds Sutherland, with the full support of the local survivors' committee.

“He has regularly refused briefings on the issue from the council and has not engaged with any of the survivors or even with the survivors-led support project funded by the council which sits literally 300ft away from his constituency office," said Councillor Carter.

“I would suggest the MP’s time is better spent trying to secure funding to assist the council, police and other local organisations in their fight to tackle child-sexual exploitation rather than continually voting in support of cuts worth millions of pounds to the very services which protect the most vulnerable.”

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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