Liberal Democrats write to Home Secretary demanding public inquiry into CSE failings

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has written to the Home Secretary – Priti Patel – calling on her to open an independent public inquiry into child sex exploitation in Oldham and Greater Manchester.

In his letter to the Home Secretary, Councillor Sykes said: “I hope you will use your position to show people in Oldham that failure to protect children can never be accepted in our public institutions. It is only through meticulously investigating these failings that we can have true accountability and begin to earn back the trust of the people of Oldham.”

The issue of child sex abuse has dominated Oldham council meetings since the report was published, leading to heated council meetings. But so far Labour have blocked calls in council meetings to call for an inquiry.

The Newsom and Ridgway report is the second of a series of reports into child sex exploitation, with the first into Operation Augusta showing chronic failings by Greater Manchester Police. GMP then refused to provide information on many sections of the second report. A third report, looking at the grooming gangs in Rochdale is to follow.

Councillor Sykes said: “We have had two council meetings since the Newsom and Ridgway report was released and so far, we’ve had a lot of bluster and precious few answers. Last week the Labour administration refused to back calls for an independent inquiry, so the Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to intervene. Priti Patel must open a full and independent public inquiry into the failings of Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police.

“The Newsom and Ridgway report revealed serious failings on the part of Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police. Failings that have had devastating consequences for the victims of these horrendous crimes. We need answers for those victims and to make sure nothing like this can ever happen again.”

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