ANDY Burnham has pledged to do all he can to bring those responsible for failures to tackle child sexual exploitation to justice, but warned his powers are limited.

The Greater Manchester Mayor and Police Commissioner was responding to a letter from Bolton West MP Chris Green calling for action on a report revealing police and social workers did too little despite knowing youngsters were being groomed and raped by gangs.

The report said the Operation Augusta investigation into the crimes and neglect was closed after a year despite identifying many victims and suspects.

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 are brought to justice.”

He told Mr Green: “I have discussed this 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 powers are more limited. Issues relating to the professional conduct of Manchester City Council employees are a matter for it. I have no direct remit in this regard.”