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''

Related Stories

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.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    Well, I don't see the problem. I do believe that immigration must be controlled, but UK has problems with illegal immigration from Africa and Asia with, not Europe. I think it's good that us Europeans mix. But UKIP seriously hates everyone! I have never seen anybody hating other Europeans so much. Apart from BNP. You wouldn't give 3 Jewish children to the Nazi family would you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    If as the council says the children were removed for the political beliefs of a UKIP supporting couple then the council has become a fascist authority stifling the beliefs of others.
    Since when has political beliefs been a bar to anything in the UK.
    Disgusting, heads should roll.

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    If the report is accurate then whoever took the decision to remove the children must be sacked at once, not should be, must be. It is completely outrageous that any person in the public's employ could act in this way. A persons political afilliations has absolutely nothing to do with some little jobsworth in Rotherham council.
    I am utterely livid anout this story.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    Socialism/communism call it what you will the thought police are now in charge of the asylum. By virtue of their actions this woman and the council she works for have accused this couple of being racists, which in the current climate is almost as bad as being accused of being a paedophile.

  • Comment number 537.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    excellent article in the Sunday Times on how the left vilify their political opponents in order to derive a sense of self satisfaction from their beliefs and values.
    One way street then?
    What did Murdoch do to Kinnock them? Relentlessly.

    That said, this decision was wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    The problem with the state wielding so much power - people are just people whichever side of the divide they're on. Complete idiots like this lady have the power to ruin lives as well as fix them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    A couple willing to give a loving home to ethnic minority children can therefore never be described as racist. The only way to stop this is a lawsuit for Defamation. Not the council, who are really to blame, as the bill goes to the ratepayers, but the individuals themselves. The "I was only obeying orders" defence didn't work at Nuremberg, it shouldn't work here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    Rotherham Council have acted in an outrageous manner. The foster carers have proved themselves good people, with a long track record of extremely good work..
    David Cameron, as a family man, must become personally involved and make these misguided bureaucrats understand these foster carers are not a danger, and do everything to overturn the decision and for the children be returned immediately.

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    This just shows, once again, how tribalist and politically Incorrect the brain washed left wingers are!
    How about removing the Illegal Immigrants from the UK?

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    Badly implemented ideas like multiculturalism risk a new form of apartheid. Each different 'culture 'is encouraged to take a more widely divergent entrenched attitude. We read Rotherham's message as; 'you must not mix people of different back grounds they might pollute each other', well done Rotherham well done Joyce Thacker.
    Suggestion - try solving problems don't create them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    If you frequently find yourself using the sentence

    'i'm not racist but...'

    It means you actually ARE.

    This is a perfectly reasonable decision by a council based upon the children's ethnic origin being one that UKIP would not condone - imagine if they'd stayed there a prolonged period - If they picked up their 'parents' views and then potentially could have ended up anti- themselves!?

  • rate this

    Comment number 529.

    So being against mass immigration means you are a racist now does it, Unbelievable!! Social workers, don't we just love them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    Let us hope that when common sense prevails and those responsible are forced to resign, they do so without being given a big fat pay off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    334. The Ship that died of shame- Nothing to do with Hatred of the left, stop telling porkies this is about a person who is trying to tailor her views onto the remit of child care. The 1st priority of protecting a child is that they are free from abuse or neglect not some quasi weird view of a child and its understanding of politics. The council has already been slammed for failing anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    What an outrageous decision. If I was in charge of that council, Ms Thacker would be suspended immediately and my private view would be that her behaviour warrants employment termination. On this subject her termination would be WITHOUT enhanced benefits that seems to becoming a norm for senior staff in our public services these days.

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    Er...presumably the fostering people actually wanted the three children in the first place. That can hardly have been racist. Surely the logic would have been that if the couple had refused the children they might have been deemed racist.
    Membership of a party doesn't mean you agree with all its dogma.

  • rate this

    Comment number 524.

    If I was the kid I would not want to grow up knowing my parents thought I am different because of my skin colour and family background, and that people of my skin colour and origin are not wanted in 'my' country. I would sue the government for putting me with these people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    Is this not a major violation of the human rights of both the children and the foster parents?

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    A council official using her position to dispense punishments to political opponents, and using children to do so. I'm assuming this individual won't last more than a few days in this job, her position is clearly untenable, but I won't hold my breath. What's disturbing is that she still doesn't seem to realise she's not allowed to use her office to prosecute personal political agendas. Sack her.


Page 28 of 55


More UK stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.