24/11/2012 09:59 GMT | Updated 24/11/2012 12:48 GMT

Ukip Membership Leads Rotherham Council To Strip Foster Couple Of Three Children

A couple in Rotherham have had their three foster children taken from them by the local council - because of their membership of the UK Independence Party (Ukip).

Rotherham Borough Council took the three "not indigenous white British" children from the unnamed couple after expressing concern about the party's stance on immigration.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the couple, who took the three children on a short-term emergency placement, said they were "dumbfounded" by the affair.

The two, who are in their late 50s, had previously been foster parents for some seven years, taking on near a dozen children in that time.


The unnamed couple lost their children over their membership to the party

However, just eight weeks into this placement, social workers visited the couple unexpectedly, claiming to have been 'tipped-off' that the two had joined Ukip.

The wife has asked what their choice of party had to do with losing the children.

“One of them said, 'Well, Ukip have got racist policies’," she said. "The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said Ukip does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries.

“I’m sat there and I’m thinking, 'What the hell is going off here?’ because I wouldn’t have joined Ukip if they thought that."

nigel farage

Nigel Farage, the party's leader, called the decision "a bloody outrage"

The parents said they felt "stigmatised and slandered" by the Labour-led council's decision.

The party's leader, Nigel Farage, claimed the council's move was "a bloody outrage".

Farage told the Telegraph: "I am outraged politically and very upset for them. I think this is the kind of thing where we need some sort of decree from a government minister that Ukip is not a racist party."

He later told the BBC's Today programme that this was "typical of the bigotry that we get from the Labour Party and Labour-controlled councils."

LISTEN: Nigel Farage speaks to BBC's Today programme

"It was the Labour government that opened the doors to uncontrolled, mass immigration into this country on a scale that we've never seen in the history of these islands, and then anybody that even attempts to debate or dicuss the issue is written off as being racist. It's a total disgrace," he claimed.

Joyce Thacker, the strategic director of children and young people's services at Rotherham council claimed the children were only placed with the couple as an emergency, and the placement was not a long-term arrangement.

LISTEN: Joyce Thacker on BBC's Today in full

"Also the fact of the matter is I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs. The children have been in care proceedings before and the judge had previously criticised us for not looking after the children's cultural and ethnic needs, and we have had to really take that into consideration with the placement that they were in," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

On Saturday morning, the Labour Party wrote on its Twitter account stated the party believed it was wrong for the council to intervene, adding that the council should launch an "urgent investigation" into the decision.

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, echoed the sentiment, saying: "We need an urgent investigation by Rotherham Council into the circumstances of this case.

"I don't know all the facts of this case but I am clear, what matters is children in Rotherham and elsewhere, and being a member of a political party like Ukip should not be a bar to fostering children."

"We need loving homes for children across the country. That can come in different forms, it's not about what political party you are a member of."