Embattled South Yorkshire Police Commissioner Shaun Wright faced another blow today after the petition to remove him for failing to prevent the abuse of children topped 12,000. News of the creation of the petition was covered exclusively by Breitbart London, and came after Wright refused to stand down despite having failed to protect at least 1,400 children in Rotherham.
Last week, Wright looked set to go but the defection of Douglas Carswell to UKIP meant that he was suddenly knocked off the front-pages. He used the time it gave him to attempt to bolster his position and cling to his £85,000 annual salary.
However, it has been far from plain sailing for Wright, who was forced out of the Labour party and lost his deputy, Tracey Cheetham, in the space of few days. Mrs Cheetham claimed she was no-longer able to work with Wright.
He was cabinet member on Rotherham Council for Children and Young People during the period when the local authority turned a blind eye to widespread abuse by Asian gangs. He stood down as a councillor after being elected Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, but the report into abuse made clear that his department had failed in its duty of care to the young people of Rotherham.
Wright’s plan to ‘tough it out’ is bolstered by rules that make it impossible to remove a sitting Police Commissioner. He will only lose the post if he is convicted of a crime, or chooses to resign, something he has so far refused to do.
The petition says: “It was revealed on 26 August that over 1400 children have been systematically groomed, threatened, raped, and otherwise abused under the noses of Rotherham Council authorities.
Following the revelations, only one person has resigned – the leader of the council, where in reality far more people are accountable for this massive failure for Rotherham, Britain, and mostly for the children involved.”
It continued: “Many people have been calling for Wright to go, but he still refuses to leave his £85,000 a year, taxpayer-funded job, despite having failed repeatedly. Shaun Wright, under these circumstances, the only responsible and just thing to do is to resign.”
The cabinet of Rotherham Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the allegations of child abuse. They are widely expected to vote to let themselves off the hook.