THE report from an inquiry into how two paedophile brothers ran a sickening campaign of grooming and child sexual exploitation of teenage girls is to be kept secret.

The move has been blasted as a "cover up" by bureaucrats determined to protect themselves from criticism.

The Wirral community was shocked last May when the perverted crimes of Ilavarasan and Vinothan Rajenthiram were revealed in court.

The pair worked at convenience shops owned by their family and at another owned by a friend of their father’s in Birkenhead.

26-year-old Ilavarasan, known as “Ara”, received a 22-and-a-half-year sentence involving 18-and-a-half years behind bars with an extended licence of four years.

Vinothan, who raped one victim, received 18 years involving 14 years in jail and an extended licence of four years.

But now it has been revealed the Serious Case Review which looked into the multiple failings of Wirral Council to protect victims will NOT be made public.

“I am appalled by this decision,” said Conservative councillor Paul Hayes.

“We owe it to the victims of this tragic case to ensure that those who failed them are held accountable and that lessons are learnt.

"How could this possibly happen if this report remains secret and doesn’t see the light of day?”

“Government guidelines are clear, reports such as this should be written so that victims cannot be identified but they should be published.

"The victims of these horrendous crimes should have their anonymity protected - but the people in Wirral Council and other agencies who failed them should face public scrutiny.

"The decision to keep this report under lock and key will undoubtedly lead to accusations of a cover up.”

He continued: "Wirral Council has already been condemned by Ofsted for failing the most vulnerable.

"if we are serious about ensuring children are protected the council should welcome public scrutiny of this report and I invite the Labour leadership to join me in calling for its publication.”

Dr Maggie Atkinson, who chairs the Local Safeguarding Board, said:  “This Serious Case Review examines in great detail the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuse of a child.

 “It was my view, as chair of the safeguarding board and entirely independent of the council and all public agencies involved, that there was no way to publish the report which did not lead to a high risk of this child being identified.

 “I could not countenance that risk. It would be morally wrong, and absolutely illegal, to risk identifying the victim of a sexual crime.

My opinion was ratified by legal advice from barristers and my assessment on this matter was specifically sent to, and agreed by the Department for Education.

 “I do agree that it is important the lessons which were learnt as a result of this tragic case are in the public domain and, to ensure they are, I had already requested that a report explaining the recommendations coming from the review – alongside the work which has been done since to address them – was published. This report will be published in the coming weeks.”

Jailing the brothers at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Norman Wright said: “You both abused your position in the shops to target teenage girls.

"You groomed them systematically finding out their names, getting their mobile numbers or using the victim’s modern media WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook.

"They were subjected to highly sexual comments and behaviour,” said Judge Norman Wright.

He said that they befriended the girls, who were aged 14 and 15, and gave them free sweets, mobile phone top-ups and serving them cigarettes “to win their trust and confidence.”

“Once you had built up their confidence you invited them to go for drives, listen to music, chill out.

"The final step was to take them back to unoccupied flats and ply them with alcohol. So you provided a heady environment for young adults.”

He said the “catalyst of alcohol was no doubt calculated to disinhibit or make them more compliant to your sexual desires.

“It was all about your sexual gratification, not friendship, not being mates, but sexual gratification.”

The day before sentence was passed - and reporting restrictions lifted - council cabinet member in charge of child safeguarding Cllr Tony Smith was sacked by his Labour group leader Cllr Phil Davies.

Within hours, director of children's services Julia Hassall had resigned.

In the aftermath of the trial Cllr Davies and Dr Maggie Atkinson - new chairwoman of Wirral’s Safeguarding Children’s Board - insisted "lessons have been learned."

In September 2016 national watchdog Ofsted found "serious and wide-spread failings" in children's services, giving the department its lowest possible rating - "inadequate."