British MP forced to resign for her ‘Pakistanis raping white girls’ statement
Sarah Champion’s statement, published in an article in The Sun, raised issues of political correctness, racism and criminality.world Updated: Aug 17, 2017 23:34 IST
Labour MP Sarah Champion has resigned as the shadow minister for women and equalities over a row which followed her stating in an article that Britain had “a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.
On August 9, 17 men and a woman were convicted of sexually abusing girls in Newcastle after the minors were plied with alcohol and drugs. Champion, in her article published in The Sun on August 10, wrote: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
“For too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up. No more. These people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.”
The article raised issues of political correctness, racism and criminality, but the MP from Rotherham later found support from the Pakistan-origin cabinet minister in the Theresa May government, Sajid Javid, who said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was wrong to sack Champion from his shadow cabinet.
There are also claims of grooming gangs exploiting Asian girls. Labour MP Preet Gill told Eastern Eye, a leading British Asian publication, that Asian girls are being exploited across Britain, but victims were afraid to report it to authorities and seek justice because they fear for their safety and concerns over bringing shame to their families.
The row involving Champion escalated after a columnist of The Sun, Trevor Kavanagh, used her article to urge MPs to tackle what he called “the Muslim Problem”, stating that Champion was one of the few politicians prepared to speak out.
The column led over 100 MPs from various parties writing to The Sun to condemn it. Champion said she was horrified that a “repulsive and extreme Islamophobic” column had quoted her positively: “I am ashamed that he made positive reference to my own piece. We must always stand up against racism and prejudice, whatever form it takes.”
After Champion resigned, Corbyn issued a brief statement: “I have accepted Sarah Champion’s resignation and thank her for her work in the shadow cabinet. I look forward to working together in future.”
First Published: Aug 17, 2017 20:52 IST