World
PM David Cameron. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP PM David Cameron. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP  

UK foster parents lose children after identifying with right-leaning political party

A British couple lost custody of their three foster children after social workers called them “racist” and said they were “unsuitable” caregivers — because of their political party affiliation.

The anonymous couple support the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a libertarian political party that seeks Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Joyce Thacker, the strategic director of children and young people’s services in the British city of Rotherham, defended the decision, specifically citing the party’s immigration policy.

“If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion of multiculturalism I have to think about that … I have to think of [the children's] longer-term needs,” Thacker stated.

UKIP supports a five-year freeze on immigration for permanent residents, and limits on new immigrants’ access to welfare benefits. It’s openly critical of multiculturalism and political correctness.

The three children are European immigrants under the age of 10.

According to the foster mother, the social worker told her that “[w]e would not have placed these children with you had we known you were members of Ukip because it wouldn’t have been the right cultural match.”

The couple have been foster parents to a dozen kids in seven years. They said they felt like “criminals” when social workers from the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council — which is controlled by the left-wing Labour party – removed the three children from their home.

The bureaucrats reportedly ordered the boy and two girls, removed from the home without any discussion.

Michael Grove, the Secretary of State for Education, blasted the decision, deeming it “arbitrary, ideological and indefensible.”

“If we say you cannot foster children because you’re a member of a mainstream political party or because you have views on multiculturalism then that’s utterly wrong,” Grove told the BBC.

The UKIP party leader, Nigil Farage, called the removal of the children “political prejudice of the very worst kind.”

A spokesman for the Rotherham borough council has stated that while the decision was made with “careful consideration,” they would “continue to keep the situation under review.”

In an interview with The Telegraph, the foster mother said she and her husband had “personally been slandered and we would like a public apology from Rotherham.”

“From a personal and selfish point of view, we would like the children back,” she said. “But we are more concerned with the children’s welfare, and we do not want them traumatized any more than they already have been.”

The Telegraph described her husband as a former Navy reservist who works with disabled people.

They said an attitude of political correctness has left many children “languishing” while bureaucrats worked to match them only to families from the same ethnic background.

Follow Jessica on Twitter