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MPs to debate e-petitions relating to grooming gangs in the Commons Chamber

28 January 2021

On Wednesday 3 February, the Petitions Committee will hold a debate on petitions relating to grooming gangs in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

The debate in the Chamber comes as sittings in Westminster Hall, the traditional debating Chamber for e-petitions, are currently suspended and the Government has said it currently has no plans to enable virtual participation.

MPs will debate e-petitions 300239 and 327566, relating to grooming gangs. Tom Hunt MP (Ipswich), member of the Petitions Committee, will lead the debate. The Government will send a Minister to respond.

Release the Home Office's Grooming Gang Review in full

The petition, which has more than 131,000 signatures, states: “The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

“We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “Government intends to publish a paper on group-based child sexual exploitation this year, which will set out key findings of the Home Office’s work in this area and implications for policy.”

We the British People Request a Public Inquiry into Grooming Gangs

The petition, which has more than 29,000 signatures, states: “The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is already examining institutional responses to sexual exploitation by organised networks. The Home Office also intends to publish a paper on this issue.”

The debate will provide opportunities for MPs to question Government Ministers directly on these issues. The debate will be available to watch live on Parliament TV and will follow the conclusion of business relating to statutory instruments on Wednesday. 

Since it was established in 2015, the Petitions Committee has regularly organised debates in Parliament’s second debating Chamber, Westminster Hall. The Committee scheduled its first ever debate in the House of Commons Chamber in June 2020 during last year’s closure of Westminster Hall.

Further information

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