Three Labour MPs are suing a Ukip MEP over “sickening” allegations that they knew about child abuse in Rotherham.
Sarah Champion, John Healy and Kevin Barron have announced they are taking action against Jane Collins for libel and slander.
The move follows Ms Collins’ speech to the Ukip conference in Doncaster in September, in which she referred to the report by Professor Alexis Jay that found 1,400 children had been targeted over more than a decade.
The MEP, who is the party’s general election candidate for Rotherham Central, said she was convinced local MPs “knew many of the details of what was happening”.
But in a joint statement, Ms Champion, Mr Healey and Mr Barron said: “It is sickening that Ukip could use such an important issue for party-political point-scoring, and we will challenge these defamatory accusations through every means available to prove they are untrue and to stop Ukip exploiting the terrible abuse for their own political gain.”
Mr Barron and Mr Healey said they were also taking libel action against Rotherham Ukip group leader Caven Vines for repeating similar accusations in an interview.