By Matthew Barrett
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Paul Goodman and Harry Phibbs have already covered this strange case of UKIP-supporting foster parents having children taken away from them by the council in Rotherham. Such a breach of political freedom and liberty has been greeted with concern by a number of Tory MPs – including the Education Secretary, Michael Gove – in tweets and elsewhere. I have collected some below.
Michael Gove has released a statement (via here):
"Rotherham have made the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. Rotherham's reasons for denying this family the chance to foster are indefensible. The ideology behind Rotherham's decision is actively harmful to children. We should not allow considerations of ethnic or cultural background to prevent children being placed with loving and stable families. We need more parents to foster and many more to adopt. Any council that decides supporting a mainstream UK political party disbars an individual from looking after children in care is sending a dreadful signal that will only decrease the number of loving homes available to children in need."
Tweets from Tory MPs:
Very bizarre that a couple had their foster children snatched from them because they found out they were (perverts?) – NO – members of UKIP!
— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) November 24, 2012
Treatment of UKIP foster parents is an appalling attack on political freedom in this country.
— Andrew Selous MP (@Andrew_SelousMP) November 24, 2012
Rotherham Council officials behind the decision to remove kids from UKIP-supporting foster parents shd be sacked. A chilling decision.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) November 24, 2012
— Graham Stuart MP (@grahamstuart) November 24, 2012
Appalled to learn Rotherham Council removed three foster children from a couple purely because they were members of UKIP
— Gavin Barwell MP (@GavinBarwellMP) November 24, 2012
I'm not a big fan of UKIP. But I would defend to the end anyone's right to be a party member, without being discriminated against
— Matthew Hancock (@matthancockmp) November 24, 2012
The sort of PC nonsense holding children back in the care system I have battledagainst tinyurl.com/cgp2dpw-clearly lots more 2 do
— Tim Loughton MP (@timloughton) November 24, 2012