Revealed: Rotherham rape gangs cover-up councillor holds senior diversity and inclusion NHS role

Mahroof Hussain was forced to resign from Rotherham Council after a report singled him out as a malign influence amid claims that he ‘stifled’ discussion on Pakistani rape gangs

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A former Labour Party politician who resigned his cabinet position at Rotherham Council in 2015 amid reports that he 'pushed back' discussions on the ethnicity of grooming gangs now works as a senior diversity and inclusion manager in a major NHS body, GB News can reveal.

Mahroof Hussain was embroiled in the Rotherham grooming gangs scandal in 2015 when Dame Louise Casey’s review into the council named him and went on to conclude that the authority was in 'denial' and warped by a culture of bullying, sexism and cover-ups.

Mahroof Hussain was embroiled in the Rotherham grooming gangs scandal in 2015.
Mahroof Hussain was embroiled in the Rotherham grooming gangs scandal in 2015.

Although Hussain resigned, he rejected that conclusion of the Casey report, and at the time issued a joint statement alongside then-Council Leader Paul Lakin saying “In our view, none of those appointed to the new cabinet at the full council meeting on September 10, 2014 was in denial.”

Casey’s report named Hussain and then Deputy Leader Jahangir Akhtar as it criticised senior Pakistani members of the council for wielding “disproportionate influence”.

The inspection found that Hussain and Akhtar both rebuffed a police officer when he proposed an initiative to target abusers after a pattern emerged that the abusers predominantly worked as taxi drivers and were from the Pakistani community. That pattern was borne out showing that males from Pakistani backgrounds were vastly over-represented in group localised child sexual exploitation.

In 2015, Times reporter Andrew Norfolk wrote that Hussain was involved in another incident of deflecting attention away from predominantly Pakistani rape gangs when he made a false allegation of racism against a fellow Labour councillor “with the aim of preventing a discussion about sexual exploitation of children.”

Mahroof Hussain was embroiled in the Rotherham grooming gangs scandal in 2015.
Mahroof Hussain was embroiled in the Rotherham grooming gangs scandal in 2015.

The Casey report found that council staff felt that Hussain had “suppressed discussion” of the issue.

From 1997 to 2013, which includes the period that Hussain and other councillors were found to have stifled investigation, a “conservative estimate” of 1,400 girls were sexually exploited, trafficked, raped and tortured. Some of the victims were as young as 11. The National Crime Agency has since revised the number of victims during this period to 1,510.

Hussain, who was a Rotherham councillor from 2002 and was almost selected as the Labour candidate for the 2012 by-election that Sarah Champion went on to win, resigned his cabinet role and his public office with immediate effect when Casey’s report was published. From May 2005, Hussain had been the cabinet member for Community Cohesion.

GB News can now reveal that Hussain’s role in the Rotherham cover-up has not denied him a career in the public sector, with the disgraced politician now working as the National Diversity, Inclusion & Participation Manager for Health Education England.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hussain was appointed as the NHS Health Education England Regional Diversity & Inclusion Manager for the Midlands in October 2020. In September 2022, he was promoted to become the national lead.

Hussain describes his role as “developing and implementing diversity and inclusion programmes that deliver equitable outcomes for our workforce.”

The Diversity and Inclusion page on the Health Education England website states that “respect, dignity, compassion and care should be at the core of how patients and staff are treated.”

GB News has uncovered footage of Hussain repeating anti-semitic stereotypes that Jewish people exert control in society due to their “financial resources” while appearing on an Urdu-language news network since he resigned in disgrace from his Rotherham council role.

On the Noor TV network in 2016, Hussain discussed the claim that “Jews control this and that,” responding to himself by saying “but why not?” adding that Jewish people have ‘control’ because “they have the ability, financial resources and the capability and the brains and the strategy.”

Mahroof, who was made a Member of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2008, was previously appointed as an advisor to a Home Office working group on “Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation.”

But Hussain has cultivated relationships with extremists since he was forced out of local government politics in 2015, with the CEO of Iman FM Mohammed Shabbir attending his daughter’s wedding in Sheffield in 2016.

Iman FM was suspended and then banned by Ofcom in 2017 after it broadcast a series of speeches by Al-Qaeda preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki advocating violence against non-Muslims.

Since his resignation from Rotherham, Hussain has also rebranded himself as an Islamophobia activist, describing himself on his LinkedIn as a consultant to charity Faith Matters and appearing at several events hosted by Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors anti-Muslim hate.

In 2016, Hussain spoke at a ‘Schools Hate Crime Workshop’ organised by Tell MAMA and Birmingham City Council.

In 2019, he organised a “community meeting” with West Yorkshire Police, who sent a superintendent to the event despite the Casey report including an account from a South Yorkshire Police officer who said Hussain rebuffed an initiative to investigate Pakistani heritage grooming gangs.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a survivor of the Rotherham grooming gangs told GB News how they felt that: “Mahroof Hussain prioritised defending the Pakistani community over the safety and security of more than 1,500 girls who were systematically abused by these disgusting rape gangs.”

Elizabeth, not her real name, added: “It is a disgrace that Mahroof Hussain works in the public sector, especially in equality and diversity. As a councillor, he prioritised so-called ‘community cohesion’ over dealing with some of England's most prolific and evil rapists. He let political correctness triumph over justice for over a thousand innocent girls. He should be outcast from society for his despicable work in Rotherham, and definitely not enjoying a salary funded by the taxpayer.”

Conservative MP Lucy Allan, who sits on the Health and Social Care Select Committee, told GB News: “I am deeply concerned that those in authority still do not listen to the voices of young women and girls who have been victims of child sexual exploitation. Too often, as with the Telford CSE crimes, the men in power looked the other way, worse they engaged in victim blaming and shaming, to avoid public scrutiny.

She added: “It’s deeply disturbing that those who denied the experiences of young women and girls are being selected for public roles where listening to the experiences of vulnerable young victims, women and girls, is a key requirement for the role.

Allan slammed “CSE flourished because of a culture of misogyny and denial — those who perpetuated this culture have no place in public life and no place in any role requiring them to promote diversity and equality.”

A Labour Party spokesperson told GB News: "All complaints are taken seriously and assessed in accordance with our rules and procedures."

Labour did not confirm if Mahroof Hussain was still a Labour Party member.

NHS Health Education England has been contacted for comment.

TellMAMA has been contacted for comment.