Embattled police commissioner Shaun Wright’s deputy has resigned this afternoon - and said she believes ‘it would have been the right thing’ for him to quit.
Mr Wright has resigned from the Labour Party but intends to remain as South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner in an independent capacity.
He had previously responsible for children’s services at Rotherham Council between 2005 and 2010 and has faced calls to quit from senior political figures of all parties, including Prime Minister David Cameron, following the publication of a damning report into Rotherham’s child abuse problems.
More than 1,000 people have also signed an online petition demanding he go.
His deputy Tracey Cheetham said today she could no longer stay in her job in the circumstances.
She said: “It has become clear to me that I am unable to continue in the role and have therefore tendered my resignation.
“It is vital for people to have confidence in the office of Police and Crime Commissioner and with this in mind, I believe it would have been the right thing for Shaun Wright to resign. This has become even more apparent given the overwhelming opinion of the public - as they are the people to whom the Commissioner is ultimately accountable.
“I am incredibly sad that this issue has become centred on one person and we seem to have lost focus on the most important factor in all this - the 1,400 victims who were failed. I am more concerned about them and what is happening to them now. Have they finally received the support and help they need to try and rebuild their lives? These are the questions that demand answers.
“Political point scoring will not help the victims and I hope the progress that has been made by South Yorkshire Police, in bringing those who perpetrate these dreadful crimes to justice, will continue and more children will be spared suffering this abuse.”