The education secretary,Michael Gove has said he will launch an investigation into a council that removed three children from foster parents due to concerns about their membership of the UK Independence party.
The announcement came as Rotherham metropolitan borough council said it was launching an internal investigating into the decision, following mounting condemnation from political leaders including Gove and Labour leader Ed Miliband
Gove branded the council's actions as "indefensible" and said he would be personally investigating the situation.
The interesting thing about this is that a consistent off the record line by Tories on UKIP is that they are a crypto-racist party: that’s what distinguishes their line on Europe from good old fashioned Tory Euroscepticism. And here’s the PM saying so publicly: the phrase “fruit cakes” also occurs. And maybe some of this is to do with the wider Tory/UKIP dynamic; Gove’s action seems to have forced a partial retraction from Cameron.
It’s pretty clear from the Groan piece that the children were withdrawn from the family following legal advice; about what specifically isn’t said. Given that there were no concerns about the actual level of care being offered it looks like an overreaction. But then the fact that the missus and I can’t foster in the first place because we’re smokers looks like an overreaction too. Frankly I’d rather they were too strict than too lenient. Social services aren’t a branch of kids ‘r us.
UPDATE: come to think of it, I suspect the public response to denying fostering to members of a political party will be similar to that involved in denying it to smokers - mainly indifferent, some feeling that it goes a bit too far and a general sense that you can't be too careful.