Javid quizzed over Rochdale deportation failure

17 June 2019, 16:16 | Updated: 17 June 2019, 16:18

Sajid Javid

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has been asked to explain why members of a notorious grooming gang in Rochdale have still not been deported a decade after dozens of girls were abused.

Tony Lloyd, the town's Labour MP, said he was shocked at the inaction by the Home Office in failing to deport.

Shabir Ahmed, 66, Qari Abdul Rauf, 50, Abdul Aziz, 48 and Adil Khan, 49, were among nine men convicted in 2012 of a catalogue of serious sex offences against vulnerable victims in Rochdale.

As the only groomers to have dual UK-Pakistani citizenship, they were at risk of being deported back to Pakistan but none of the four appear to have been deported or be facing deportation.

Ahmed, known as "daddy" in the gang, is still serving a 22-year jail term for rape but Rauf is back living at his home address in Rochdale and Aziz has also been seen in the town, locals say.

Khan's exact whereabouts are not known.

One woman who was abused wet herself and ran into a shop after spotting her attacker in the town centre recently, according to locals, and another victim bumped into her abuser in a nightclub only last week.

A spokeswoman for current Home Secretary, Rochdale-born Sajid Javid, has been approached for comment but has yet to respond.

Mr Lloyd has now tabled a question in Parliament and called on Mr Javid to explain.

The MP said: "I am as shocked about this as everyone else is in Rochdale, and the wider country.

"When the Home Office took on and won the capacity to take British citizenship from them, we were right to assume that this would be followed by deportation.

"These crimes were at the most serious level and victims deserve better.

"I would ask Sajid Javid to take urgent action.

"I want them to be deported.

"He needs to explain what they are doing, the public will be bewildered that the Home Office take the power to deport without them exercising that.

"People are still angry."

The Home Office will not say whether a decision has been made to deport any of the four.

A spokeswoman said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases."

Maggie Oliver, the detective who resigned from Greater Manchester Police and turned whistle-blower over the botched Rochdale inquiry, said: "It doesn't surprise me they won't be straight with their answers after all this time because they don't want a public backlash.

"Ultimately the truth does have a way of coming out.

"The process most of these girls have been through has led them to expect very, very little from the authorities.

"They have been failed again and again and again.

"It's actually disgraceful."

In 2016, then-home secretary Theresa May ruled it would be "conducive to the public good" to deprive the four of the right to remain in the UK.

The four then fought, and lost, a long legal battle against deprivation of UK citizenship, losing a final Court of Appeal ruling in July last year.

For two years from early 2008, girls as young as 12 were plied with alcohol and drugs and gang-raped in rooms above takeaway shops and ferried to different flats in taxis where cash was paid to use the girls.

Police said as many as 47 girls were groomed.