MIchael Gove on Rotherham's chilling decision

I think that anyone who votes UKIP is showing a serious failure of political judgement. But that's my opinion, and UKIP supporters are equally entitled to their different opinion and their vote.

I also think that anyone who voted Labour in 2010 showed an even more catastrophic failure of political judgement, but democracy means that people have the right to use their votes in ways which I really, really strongly disagree with and I just have to live with it.

Just as people who equally strongly disagree with the way I vote and the things I believe in have to live with that. The price of our freedom to hold our own opinions and vote the way we wish is that we have to extend the same freedom to others.

Another part of the price of that freedom is that millions of people have fought and died to defend it. Which is why the way unelected council officials in Rotherham have taken an action which appears to strike directly at that freedom is so shocking and alarming.

A couple in Rotherham who have been fostering children for seven years and appear to have an excellent record in doing so had been fostering three children for eight weeks when officials at Rotherham Borough Council cancelled the placement for no other reason than that the foster paresnts concerned were members of UKIP.

In a car crash interview this morning the head of the department which took the decision was quite open about the fact that the foster parents were members of UKIP was the reason for the decision.

Education secretary Michael Gove has released the following statement about this extraordinary action:

 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."

Michael Gove also pointed out in a BBC interview that "The ideology of adults should not take precedence over the needs of Children."


Downing Street rejected reports that David Cameron had retracted his previous criticisms of the UKIP leadership in the light of the council's decision. A spokesman said: "The prime minister never said that every single member of Ukip is a racist and the point about adoption cases is parents need to be judged on their merits, not affiliation to a political party."


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