Labour councillor has party whip suspended after sleeping during child sexual exploitation briefing

A Labour councillor who fell asleep during a briefing on child sexual exploitation has had the party whip suspended.

Wath councillor Alan Atkin was accused of falling asleep during the briefing to update Rotherham councillors on work to tackle child sexual exploitation in the borough.

Following the grooming scandal and subsequent Jay report in 2014, RMBC has held regular meetings to update councillors on work being done to ensure children are safe.

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Councillors scrutinised the recommissioning of council support for survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE), as the current extension of service contracts comes to an end.

The councillor fell asleep during the meetingThe councillor fell asleep during the meeting
The councillor fell asleep during the meeting

However, during the improving lives select commission meeting on Tuesday (Jan 30), Coun Atkin was accused of falling asleep.

He has since declined to comment.

Councillor Chris Read, leader of the council, said: “The Labour Party takes tackling child exploitation incredibly seriously and the response of the council to threats to children has been transformed under our leadership in recent years, as the presentation to Scrutiny showed.

“Coun Atkin’s conduct in yesterday’s meeting was far from the standard of professionalism and diligence we expect from our elected officials, and as such we have suspended the whip from Cllr Atkin.

“We are a changed Labour Party, and the public have a right to know that all Labour Party elected officials are of the highest standard.”

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