UKIP couple have foster children removed from care


Joyce Thacker, Rotherham Borough Council: ''We had to seriously think about the long-term needs of the children''

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A couple have had three foster children removed from their care because they belong to the UK Independence Party.

Rotherham Borough Council said the children were "not indigenous white British" and that it had concerns about UKIP's stance on immigration.

It said it had to consider the "needs of the children longer term".

The unnamed couple told the Daily Telegraph social workers had accused them of belonging to a "racist party". UKIP said it was an appalling decision.

Rotherham Borough Council's Strategic Director of Children and Young People's Services, Joyce Thacker, told the BBC that her decision was influenced by UKIP's immigration policy, which she said calls for the end of the "active promotion of multiculturalism".

UKIP's immigration policy states the party wants an "end [to] the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government", and urges Britain to leave the European Union (EU).

The Labour Party has called for an investigation into the Labour-run council's decision, after claims from UKIP it could have been politically motivated.

A parliamentary by-election is due in Rotherham on 29 November following the resignation of Labour MP Denis MacShane.


The couple, who have been approved foster parents for seven years, were eight weeks into the placement when they were approached by social workers about their membership of the party.

The wife told the Daily Telegraph: "I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, 'What has UKIP got to do with having the children removed?'

UKIP immigration policy

  • An immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement.
  • After the five year freeze, a strictly controlled, points-based system similar to Australia to be introduced.
  • An aspiration to ensure that future immigration does not exceed 50,000 people a year.
  • Regain control of UK borders by leaving the EU.
  • Repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Ensure British benefits are only available to UK citizens or those who have lived here for at least five years.
  • End the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government

SOURCE: UKIP website

"Then one of them said, 'Well, UKIP have got racist policies.' The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said UKIP does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries."

The paper says the woman denied she was racist but the children were taken away by the end of the week.

She said the social worker told her: "We would not have placed these children with you had we known you were members of UKIP because it wouldn't have been the right cultural match."

The couple said they had been "stigmatised and slandered".

Ms Thacker said she did not regret the decision, which was reached after "a lot of soul searching".

"These children are not UK children and we were not aware of the foster parents having strong political views. There are some strong views in the UKIP party and we have to think of the future of the children."

She added during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today: "I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs.

"I have legal advice I have to follow for the placement of children and I was criticised before for not making sure their cultural and ethnic needs were met.

"If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion of multiculturalism I have to think about that... I have to think of their longer-term needs.

"I don't think [UKIP] are a racist party... I think they have very clear immigration and policies and I have to take all those factors into account."

She added that the children were placed with the family temporarily and were never intended to stay with the family long-term.

The council said there was no blanket ban on UKIP members being foster parents and that this couple would be allowed to foster other children in the future.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the couple has been subjected to "appalling prejudice"

'Political bias'

UKIP leader Nigel Farage condemned the decision and said the council had many questions to answer.

He told the BBC he felt: "Very upset and very angry... this couple involved who have been fostering for many years and are very decent people. This was an awful shock to them, not to mention the upset for the children themselves.

"Politically, I am not surprised at all. This is typical of the bigotry you get from the Labour party and Labour controlled councils.

"We have nothing against people from Poland or elsewhere in the world... we are not against immigration. We believe in controlled immigration."

He added in a statement: "They [the council] have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask who it is that is prejudiced? A normal couple who have fostered for seven years, or themselves who are blinded by political bias?

"Publicly they must make absolutely clear the decision-making process in this case, who was responsible for this decision and why."

In a statement, Labour said: "Membership of UKIP should not block parents from adopting children. There needs to be an urgent investigation by Rotherham Borough Council into this decision."

The education secretary Michael Gove said he will be investigating how the decision to remove the children came to be made, and described it as "indefensible".

"Rotherham Council have made the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

"We should not allow considerations of ethnic or cultural background to prevent children being placed with loving and stable families.

"Any council which decides that supporting a mainstream UK political party disbars an individual from looking after children in care is sending a dreadful signal that will only decrease the number of loving homes available to children in need," he added.

UKIP describes itself as a "Libertarian, non-racist party seeking Britain's withdrawal from the European Union".

It currently has 12 MEPs and 31 councillors, with three peers in the House of Lords.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 521.

    How can this couples problem be they are against immigration when they have housed three immigrant children.Labour will never gain power while they associate themselves with this inverted prejudice,I'm no right winger but I can't sit back silent when my country's democratic rights are attacked.SHAME ON THAT COUNCIL

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    @ 303.Morrile

    "Foster Parenting is all about children and not politics!"

    You'd like to think so wouldn't you? However, when you have extremist views (like UKIP) then it becomes an issue. Basically these foster parents don't believe these children should be in the country. How can you say that won't affect their treatment of them?

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    According to UKIP the countrys problems are coming from Europe but now it seems that it is coming from the UK authorities ! What a nonsense all this is!

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    235. imustbeoldiwearacap

    She is paid up to £115000 to be "Director of Childrens Services"

    Oh great, so when she gets the sack next week, which she surly has to in light of this disgraceful decision, she'll probably get a £1/4 million pay-off!

    We really do need to look very hard at these high paid public officials.

    They get huge pay to be incompetent and then a bonus for failure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    For gods sake, please let a lawyer read this who happens to specialize in adoption legalities. And let that lawyer sue the heck out of this soppy pathetic hand wringing council, and teach those tools a lesson. WHAT A DISGRACE! Yes, lets deprive children of a loving home. while we play at politics.... what complete nonsense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    I am outraged. What business is it of Rotherham Council which party the couple votes for. It is totalitarianism writ large and the Council should hang its head in shame. Thacker should resign immediately but she is not alone. While Labour have suggested an investigation, they should reflect on how their pursuit of political correctness has has damaged free speech and thought in the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    #316 I watched a debate on BBC News 24 last night about the EU budget between a UKIP MEP and Elmar Brok, a German MEP.

    The UKIP MEP was Marta Andreasen, a Spaniard born in Buenos Aires who famously blew the whistle on the EU's accounts as an auditor

    Ann Cryer, a Labour MP said all immigrants should learn english and was shouted down

    We need a reality check. UKIP are no more racist than Labour

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    I heard this woman talking doublespeak on the radio in a pathetic attempt to justify this stupid decision. Makes you ashamed to be British, frankly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    Just Browsing

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.

    I really am looking forward to reading the justification for that - and to making a complaint to the BBC Trust seeking the dfismissal of the moderator concerned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 512.

    361. "It's been clear for some time that any active Christian involvement is a bar to fostering or adoption."

    Absolute tabloid fiction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    Does this council not stop & think for one second that it is odd that these parents who are purportedly aligned to a ‘racist’ party who are allegedly against European people settling in this country, are apparently so racist they sacrifice there resources and love to give a home to the very people there purportedly against having staying in the UK. A vegetarian does not eat a beef burger !

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    Joyce Thacker should be sacked for her bigoted and prejudiced views.

    What next Conservative Councils banning Labour poster parents? LibDem councils banning Respect party members. Politics shouldn't prevent caring people from looking after children. What an intolerant country we are becoming.

  • Comment number 509.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    Sureley Britain being multicultural means supporting a range of political viewpoints, not just one? If we are going to have a right way (as per Germany around 1939 - 45), perhaps there should be a debate in parliament before forcing it upon the rest of the population!!
    I strongly believe in peoples freedom as long as their behavior is not harmful to others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 507.

    A jury form always asks you if you are "racist"

    If you say yes, then you do not serve on a jury

    If this decision is upheld by the UK Government UKIP members cannot serve on a Jury

    This also means any case which had a UKIP member on the jury is unsafe

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    Activists in a party which believes that "Multiculturalism has split our society" and that we must "Freeze permanent immigration for 5 years" are probably not the best people to care for two non-UK, "not indigenous white British" children.

  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    Ms Thacker claims she was following the directions of a judge in placement cases.

    If so, it would not be the first time that such declarations have had unintended consequences, or were made for electoral reasons, influenced by the judge's own politics, in view of the soon-to-be-held by-election.

    UKIP has a candidate in this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    The Ship that died of shame #334:

    "I don't think it is right to take these children away because the foster parents vote UKIP, but it's equally wrong to have children grow up in an environment with all the hatred against the left in general displayedhere."


    I lean towards the left politically, but it is behaviour like this that stops me from leaning to the left rather more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    Looks like another few names on the unemployment list!

  • rate this

    Comment number 502.


    "How do these people [council officials] get so far off track and why is there not some safeguards in place to stop this from happening?"
    It's an example of "group think" anyone who dissents from the received PC line will be sanctioned in some way, perhaps officially, but more likely socially or in terms of career progression, so people dare not dissent.


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