A FORMER MP for Keighley has spoken out about being ignored when she tried to raise the subject of children being groomed for sex in Keighley.

Ann Cryer, who was Labour MP for Keighley from 1997 to 2010, was interviewed for a Channel Four documentary called: Things we won't say about race that are true.

The programme was broadcast last Thursday night (March 19) and presented by ex-chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips.

He argued that people's fear of being labelled racist was preventing them from openly discussing race-related problems, and that this was worsening Britain's racial divisions.

Mrs Cryer spoke of how she was approached by seven mothers in 2003, who said their young daughters were being sexually groomed by gangs of overwhelmingly Mirpuri Pakistani men outside their school gates.

She said these mothers complained of not being listened to by the authorities when they tried to seek help, adding that she also received no co-operation when she intervened on behalf of the women.

"Friends of mine in the Labour Party knew about it [grooming] for years and never mentioned it to me," she said.

"It was difficult for me to raise the issue without being called a racist. I could not interest Bradford Social Services or West Yorkshire Police, so the last resort was to go public.

"If you pretend this isn't happening, as many people in Rotherham did, then you go down the road of condoning it.

"You're saying 'this is alright, because that's what they do in that community'. But it's not. It's not alright."