A FOSTER mum turned politician has criticised a high-profiled decision to take three ethnic minority children away from a couple because they are members of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Reading borough councillor, Melanie Eastwood, said social workers in Rotherham should have been aware of the foster parents' political affiliations from the start because of the rigorous assessment process.

Rotherham Borough Council had reportedly acted on an anonymous tip-off that the parents were supporters of the party, which campaigns for Britain to leave the European Union and tighter controls on immigration.

Cllr Eastwood, a Green Party politician who gave up fostering last year, said: "I would find it surprising if the family had not already given a lot of information about their political beliefs, it should have been known and understood before they were approved. If so and social services had concerns, they should not have gone ahead rather than change their minds later."

She added being a member of UKIP should not disqualify someone from being a foster carer, and added: "It should not be a problem unless they had good reason to suspect they held extreme views which would have a detrimental impact on the children."

The case has caused public uproar and prompted education secretary Michael Gove to launch an inquiry, with the Yorkshire council promising to co-operate fully.