1,400 girls were abused by sex gangs because social workers and police feared being called Islamophobic

At least 1,400 girls were left to be abused by Asian men Muslims because the authorities were too scared to admit there was a race issue, a report said yesterday.

Over a 16-year period, children as young as 11 were sexually exploited by gangs of men – most of them of Pakistani origin.

But police and council officials suppressed evidence of the crimes because they feared being labelled racist.