BURY'S new MPs Christian Wakeford and James Daly have called on Andy Burnham to pursue individuals responsible for the failure to tackle child sexual exploitation.

They are among nine Conservative backbenchers who have written to the Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner in the wake of the publication of a report which revealed that police and council social workers stood by and did nothing despite knowing that youngsters were being hooked on drugs, groomed and raped by gangs.

The report commissioned by Mr Burnham also showed that an investigation into the problem after the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who was in the care of Manchester City Council, called Operation Augusta was closed after year despite identifying at least 57 potential victims and 97 suspected child abusers.

The letter asked Mr Burnham: “What action as PCC and Mayor of Greater Manchester will you be taking to pursue criminal, misconduct or negligence charges against individuals from Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council who oversaw these failings?”

Mr Burnham has pledged he will do all he can to bring those responsible for the failure to tackle child sexual exploitation.to justice but warned his powers are limited.

Mr Burnham said: "I will ensure that victims, let down so badly at the time, receive all the support they need and that the perpetrators identified are brought to justice."

In his reply the the MPs, he said: "I have discussed this matter with the Chief Constable and received an assurance that if any evidence of criminal misconduct emerges it will be acted upon. When it comes to professional standards and misconduct, my statutory powers are more limited.

"Issues relating to the professional conduct of Manchester City Council employees are a matter for the council and I have not direct remit in this regard."

Cllr Wakeford won Bury South and Cllr Daly Bury North in the December 12 General Election.