A former Rotherham mayor said it was his ‘right to kiss all the pretty ladies in the office’, the damning new Casey Report claims.
The 157-page report showed Rotherham Council is ‘not fit for purpose’ and ‘resolutely’ denied the extent of the child abuse scandal first exposed in the Jay Report.
It also shone a light on the sexism, bullying and race-sensitive culture still rampant within Rotherham Council, even after the Jay Report.
It said: “The problem of sexist and bullying behaviour came up across the organisation. Throughout the inspection, many female staff reported witnessing or enduring sexist behaviour from senior male colleagues and members’.
A quote in the report from a former senior officer said: “One mayor said that in his year of mayoral office it was his right to kiss all the pretty ladies in the office – I remember thinking, ‘this is so Rotherham’.”
The race issue was also exposed again. A voluntary sector worker told the report: “The issue of CSE perpetrators was predominantly Asian men and they were scared that would cause a problem.
“Stats on ethnicity were taken out of presentations. There was resistance to focusing on who the perpetrators were.”
It added: “Inspectors heard a range of views about attitudes to race and culture that caused them concern and reinforced the conclusion that the council could not sensibly deal with the issue.
“Indeed, some councillors held racist or wholly outdated or inappropriate views. Many of these views were known about but not challenged.”
The report said former deputy council leader Jahangir Akhtar used his power on police.
A police officer told the report: “There was once a situation where a girl from a Pakistani heritage family went missing.
“They – Asian councillors – went straight to the Chief Superintendent and that influenced our operations – they held a lot of power.”