IPCC reconsiders Shaun Wright ‘lying to MPs’ investigation

An ex-police and crime commissioner (PCC) could face criminal investigation over claims he misled MPs about his awareness of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.

Apr 7, 2017

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) refused to investigate Shaun Wright in 2015 as it believed his actions were not covered in its remit.

However, the IPCC has revealed it “[misunderstood] the extent of Parliamentary immunity” and has received a second referral from South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel.

The IPCC is now deciding if a full criminal investigation against Mr Wright is necessary.

A spokesperson said: “Following recent correspondence received from the Metropolitan Police Service, we have re-reviewed the law relating to evidence given at the Home Affairs Select Committee and believe that this matter does come under our remit, rather than being a contempt of Parliament issue.

“As a result we wrote to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel to ask them to re-refer the matter for our consideration.

We have re-reviewed the law relating to evidence given at the Home Affairs Select Committee and believe that this matter does come under our remit

“We have now received that referral and will make an assessment as to whether the matter requires investigation and if so, by whom.”

Mr Wright resigned as South Yorkshire PCC in 2014 under pressure regarding the extent of child sexual abuse in Rotherham.

A report published that year found at least 1,400 children had been exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.

However, giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) two weeks later, Mr Wright said he was not aware of the extent of the problem while serving as the head of children’s services there.

The IPCC said at the time that if Mr Wright had lied he would have committed contempt of Parliament, rather than a criminal offence.

But in 2016, HASC received two complaints that Mr Wright “deliberately misled” the committee while under oath and committed perjury.

It referred the case to the Metropolitan Police Service for investigation, which requested confirmation from the IPCC that it has primacy to investigate the matter.

The IPCC has now confirmed it has.

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