Sheffield & South Yorkshire

IPCC to probe claims ex-South Yorkshire PCC lied on oath

Shaun Wright
Image caption Shaun Wright was the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire between 2012 and 2014

Claims South Yorkshire's former Police and Crime Commissioner lied to MPs are to be examined by the police watchdog.

Shaun Wright was accused of "deliberately misleading" a select committee hearing evidence about the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it will assess the matter before deciding on whether to launch a full investigation.

Mr Wright, Rotherham's former head of children's services, resigned in 2014.

An IPCC spokesman said an initial referral made by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel in 2015 had been passed back "on the basis that misleading a Select Committee, if proven, would be a contempt of Parliament rather than a criminal offence."

But in 2016, the Home Affairs Select Committee said it had received two complaints that Mr Wright deliberately mislead the committee while giving evidence under oath in 2014 and had referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police.

The IPCC spokesperson said that following correspondence with the force it had reviewed the law and now believes the matter is within its remit.

He said: "As a result we wrote to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel to ask them to re-refer the matter for our consideration.

"We have now received that referral and will make an assessment as to whether the matter requires investigation and if so, by whom."

However, he added the referral would not automatically lead to an investigation as the information would have to be assessed first

"Now that we have received a referral we can start that process [and] if the matter requires investigation, the IPCC can independently investigate the matter or manage a police force investigation," he said.

A 2014 report found 1,400 children in Rotherham were abused between 1997 and 2013.

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

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