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MP Who Highlighted Pakistani Rape Gangs Given Extra Security by Terror Police

Champion
Christopher Furlong/Getty

A Labour MP who spoke out against the UK’s “problem” with Pakistani grooming gangs has been given extra security by terror police after sustained attacks from “anti-racist” and Muslim interest groups.

Sarah Champion is the representative for Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where around 1,500 “mostly” white girls were groomed, trafficked, drugged, and raped by gangs of predominantly Pakistani-heritage men, according to a government report.

However, when she highlighted the “common ethnic heritage” of the attackers, she was forced to resign from the Labour front bench in August last year.

Since then, she has been attacked for “industrial-scale racism” by a well-funded charity and local Labour activists are moving to remove her as an MP, according to The Times, and may be seeking to replace her with a Muslim candidate.

The paper reports correspondence in which Jahangir Akhtar, South Yorkshire council’s former deputy leader, called Ms Champion an “ogre” and claims: “If Labour wants to keep her seat, they need to get rid of her pretty quick.”

Friends of the MP say leading members of Rotherham’s Pakistani community are attacking her reputation and appear to want a Muslim member of Rotherham council to replace her, the paper also claims.

However, the attacks have been spearheaded by the “racial justice” charity Just Yorkshire, a group that claims to speak on behalf of the local Pakistani community, which they say is against the MP on the basis of an online survey of 160 people.

A leading figure in the charity is “radical academic” Waqas Tufail, whose research is focused on”Islamophobia” and the “racialisation of crime”.

On Twitter, he has attacked the Royal family as an “institution that epitomises white supremacy” and described the English football team’s three lions emblem as a colonial legacy that should instead be “three hedgehogs”.

The group’s main backer is the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT), which also handed more than £300,000 to CAGE in 2015, a group that has described Islamic State executioner Mohammed Emwazi as a “beautiful young man” as well as consistently defending Islamist ideologues.

Just Yorkshire, which has taken more than half a million pounds from the JRCT, published a report on Ms Champion in March, claiming it “highlights significant levels of anger, hurt and disappointment the Pakistani community has in their MP”.

Co-authored by Nadeem Murtuja, the chairman and acting director of Just Yorkshire, it also says the Pakistani community feels “scapegoated, dehumanised and potentially criminalised” by Ms Champion, who had “crossed a point of no return”.

There is no suggestion the charity or Labour party activists are behind threats made to Ms Champion. Mr Murtuja insisted claims his charity plotting against the MP was “completely wide of the mark”.

Rather, Muslim Labour councillors were the victim of a “racially motivated witch hunt”, he said, adding: “This is a community that has felt under siege and we wanted to make sure its voice was properly heard. We now want to move forward and build bridges.”

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