Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham child abuse: Claims ex-PCC Shaun Wright lied to MPs

Ex-PCC Shaun Wright Image copyright PA
Image caption In September 2014, ex-PCC Shaun Wright told MPs he was not aware of the scale of abuse in Rotherham while he was its head of children's services

Claims ex-police and crime commissioner (PCC) Shaun Wright lied to MPs in parliament over the Rotherham child abuse scandal are to be sent to police.

The Home Affairs Select Committee said it would be referring two complaints to the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Wright resigned in 2014 in the wake of a report, which found at least 1,400 children were abused in the town from 1997 to 2013, after resisting pressure.

He was Rotherham council's head of children's services from 2005 to 2010.

Mr Wright has not commented publicly on the claims.

He became South Yorkshire's PCC in 2012, before facing MPs in September 2014, telling the committee he had received a report in 2007 outlining some cases.

However, he said he "did not recall it indicating the scale of child sexual exploitation at that time".

'Criminal offence alleged'

In a statement the committee, chaired by Yvette Cooper, said: "The Home Affairs Committee has received two complaints alleging that a witness who was examined on oath by the former committee in the last parliament deliberately misled the committee.

"Since lying to a committee of the House when under oath would constitute the criminal offence of perjury, the committee has resolved today to refer the complaints to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis for investigation.

"Any further action is for the police and the prosecuting authorities to consider.

"Since a criminal offence is alleged, it would not be appropriate for the committee to make any further comment."

No details have been disclosed about the specific nature of the complaints.

As PCC, Mr Wright initially defended his position, refusing calls to stand down from then Prime Minister David Cameron, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the then leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband at the time, before eventually resigning.

Professor Alexis Jay's report was published on 26 August 2014.

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