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Child abuse inquiry chair to be appointed 'in days'

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A chair for the Rotherham child abuse inquiry will be appointed imminently, the prime minister has announced.

Home secretary Theresa May is chairing a group of ministers that will make the appointment.

In response to a query about the appointment from Rotherham MP Sarah Campion (Lab) at prime minister’s questions, David Cameron said: “An announcement will be made in the coming days.”

Mr Cameron also told MPs that councils should be able to dismiss staff who had failed to do their jobs, following a question from Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott (Lab) in relation to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Mr Cameron said: “What happened in Rotherham is deeply appalling and demonstrates a failure in the local government system in the children’s services department, and policing.”

He added: “Local authorities, when they employ these people, should look carefully at their contracts and make sure that if they don’t do their jobs properly they can be removed.

“Local government has a responsibility for the people it employs and should hold them to account.”

As reported by LGC yesterday, Ms May told the House of Commons that communities secretary Eric Pickles was “minded” to conduct an independent investigation into Rotherham MBC following the revelations of child sexual exploitation.

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