The Times journalist who broke the Rotherham rape gangs story has described it as “a hugely uncomfortable story to put on a front page of a national newspaper.”
Speaking after being named News Reporter of the Year at Britain’s Press Awards, Andrew Norfolk added: “and you all know why it was uncomfortable.. But it was true.”
He received a standing ovation for what many present described as an “emotional speech”, however his apologetic tone may raise eyebrows.
Norfolk spent four years working on the story, with his findings that Muslim men were grooming white British girls eventually being vindicated last year with the publication of the Jay Report.
However, the fact the acts were committed mainly by Muslims has caused unease for Britain’s liberal establishment which is wedded to the ideology of multiculturalism.
In 2011, Guardian columnist Libby Brooks accused the Times of “racialising” the crimes, and described claims of Muslim men grooming white British girls as “dubious”. Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane also admitted that as a “Guardian reader and liberal leftie” he had avoided burrowing too deeply into the issue while representing the area in parliament.
“I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that,” he said.