He admits that when he first heard details of the allegations by mainly white girls against largely British-Pakistani perpetrators – during a speech by Labour MP Ann Cryer – he didn’t want to follow it up. “Immediately I thought this is a dream story for the far right,” he says. Yet as soon as he started investigating in the autumn of 2010 he knew he would have to report on it: “We found clear evidence of a crime pattern that was not being acknowledged or addressed and which was having the most devastating impact on some of the most vulnerable, innocent people in our society.”
In other words, it was just possible that his private personal opinions and outlook could have swayed him to ignore the story because it would assist a certain other political viewpoint, despite the facts.
But another reporter could have followed his ideological persuasion and not have done so.
And there is this, too:
Nor does he anticipate becoming a campaigner or public speaker about child sexual exploitation. “My job is to write news stories. I think the best way I can help is to carry on working as a journalist.”