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Rochdale Council 'welcomes' new investigation into potential cover-up of Cyril Smith abuse

Linda Fisher, Acting Chief Executive, Rochdale Borough Council:

“The historic activities at Knowl View and any subsequent accusations of wrong doing must be fully examined and Rochdale Borough Council very much welcomes the investigation by GMP police.

“We will continue to co-operate fully with the force’s inquiries making all information available.

“This is a positive step on the road to resolution and we are pleased the Force has acted swiftly to launch a criminal investigation.

“The people of Rochdale, the Council and most importantly the victims, need to have confidence in the process and faith that the truth will be discovered and any necessary actions taken.

“Our own independent review, being carried out by Neil Garnham QC, will recommence when this is deemed appropriate and in agreement with GMP.”

Police to investigate whether authorities in Rochdale covered-up abuse at Knowl View

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter
knowl view cyril smith abuse
Knowl View school closed in 1994 Credit: ITV Granada

Greater Manchester Police is to launch a new investigation into whether reports of abuse by Cyril Smith and others were covered-up by the authorities in Rochdale.

The independent inquiry will be separate from the investigation underway into alleged abuse at Knowl View school. The investigation announced today will focus on how reports of child abuse by were handled by local authorities, namely Rochdale Council and local Police forces.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett from GMP, said: “Following the publication of MP Simon Danczuk's book 'Smile for the Camera’, GMP conducted an assessment of the allegations contained within that book. As a result of the assessment, GMP decided that a criminal investigation was required.

“This also followed consultation with Rochdale Council and the QC conducting the independent inquiry on their behalf. The council asked Neil Garnham QC to suspend his independent review and he has agreed to do so.

“The GMP investigation will now seek to identify whether any offences have been committed in the way that previous reports of abuse were handled or allegedly covered up.

“The main concerns relate to the response to child abuse over several decades connected to Knowl View School in Rochdale.

“We have consulted with the Home Office in relation to the national inquiry that has been announced into how organisations responded to child abuse, but as these matters relate to criminal allegations in the GMP area, the responsibility to investigate them falls to the Chief Constable.

“We are aware that some of the allegations relate to the past involvement of police officers, and therefore we have referred those matters to the IPCC. In addition, we have established an independent oversight panel to demonstrate the independence and rigour of the investigation that we will be conducting.

“If there are further allegations that relate to the conduct of police officers, these will similarly be referred to the IPCC, as we are required to do.”


WATCH: The prison threat that stopped high profile child abusers being revealed

An investigative journalist claims he was threatened by the former MP Cyril Smith, and then raided by police, to stop him revealing the names of politicians who were trying to legalise sex with children.

Don Hale was editor of the Bury Messenger in the 1980s.

He says he was told he'd go to prison if he printed a story based on a dossier of Westminster documents.

He's given his first broadcast interview on the revelations to Ashley Derricott:

Nasser Shaikh: 'Today is a symbolic day'

khuram shaikh sri lanka simon danczuk itv granada nasser shaikh rochdale
Nasser (right) with his brother Khuram who was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka in 2011 Credit: ITV Granada

Nasser Shaikh, the elder brother brother of Khuram, has released this statement from Colombo where four men have been jailed for his murder:

“Today, the country has done what many people hoped and prayed for. Those who killed my brother have been punished and are now behind bars for a long time.

"Our campaign was not only about justice, but to bring awareness of the wonderful work my brother did around the world, working in humanitarian aid. He is a true inspiration for many and we hope his legacy continues with those he left behind.

"Whilst our family and friends find it difficult to come to terms with the tragic loss, I hope today can bring some comfort to everyone involved that we achieved the justice we set out for and the country can move forward in a better place for many, ensuring no other person suffers the same fate as my brother.

"I wish to thank everyone who embarked on my personal journey around the world and supported it immensely, which includes the Sri Lankan public.

"I would also like to thank the British Government who have been instrumental in seeking answers for our family, the Sri Lankan officials for progressing the trial towards its resolution, but more importantly to acknowledge the bravery and defiance shown by those who gave witness accounts in the case.

"Today is a symbolic moment: a day the country delivered justice – a day I delivered my promise to a brother.”

– Nasser Shaikh

Statement from British High Commission in Sri Lanka following Khuram Shaikh verdicts

“We welcome the verdicts and sentences handed down today to those responsible for the murder of Khuram Shaikh. We hope that this will begin some closure for his family and friends who have faced a long and difficult fight for justice.

"The officials of the Attorney General’s office have shown great professionalism and integrity and we would like to thank them. We will continue to monitor any developments in the case closely.”

Verdicts expected in the trial of murdered aid worker from Rochdale

by Daniel Hewitt
khuram shaikh sri lanka simon danczuk itv granada nasser shaikh rochdale
Khuram Shaikh was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka in December 2011 Credit: ITV Granada

The verdicts of six men accused of killing an aid worker from Rochdale in Sri Lanka are expected today.

Khuram Shaikh died while on holiday in the beach resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day in 2011.

All six men deny the charges against them.

Khuram's brother Nasser, who has led a two and half year campaign for justice, will be at the High Court in Colombo to hear the verdicts.

WATCH: The Khuram Shaikh story in full from the beginning


Brother of Khuram Shaikh tells Granada Reports he is 'scared' ahead of murder trial verdicts

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter
khuram shaikh sri lanka simon danczuk itv granada nasser shaikh rochdale
Nasser (right) with his brother Khuram who was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka in 2011 Credit: ITV Granada

The brother of Khuram Shaikh, the aid worker from Rochdale killed in Sri Lanka in 2011, has told Granada Reports he is 'scared' ahead of the verdicts into Khuram's alleged murder.

Nasser Shaikh has flown to Colombo where the trial of six men accused of killing the 32-year old is expected to conclude on Friday.

Khuram died while on holiday in the beach resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day 2011. All six men deny the charges against them.

Speaking to ITV Granada's Political Reporter Daniel Hewitt from Sri Lanka, Nasser admitted he is preparing for an emotional day in court:

"My tireless campaign has brought about an emotional journey this week knowing it's nearing the end.

At first I was scared of the truth about what happened to my brother and now I am scared about the result.

I am holding back the tears at the moment as I need to stay brave and resolute.

I hope the support, prayers and dedication shown by so many around the world brings the justice we all crave for."

– Nasser Shaikh speaking to Granada Reports

McVey defends choice of dress for Cabinet reshuffle

Employment Minister and Wirral West MP Esther McVey has defended her choice of dress for Tuesday's Cabinet reshuffle.

Minister for Employment and Disabilities Esther McVey arrives in Downing Street
Minister for Employment and Disabilities Esther McVey arrives in Downing Street Credit: PA

Some newspapers referred to the dress as "thigh-flashing" to which Ms McVey replied it was just a "summery dress".

Speaking to ITV News, she said:

"I suppose we're starting a conversation. You've got to look at the positive side. And if the positive side is that there are more women in cabinet and if there's more powerful women in the country, that's positive. So for me, it's the start of a conversation.

"However that conversation starts, and if it is with a bit of thigh on show, well so be it. The most important thing is that women can go on and achieve."

– Wirral West MP Esther McVey

Memorial service for MP Paul Goggins

Former Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Paul Goggins.

A memorial service will be held today for the late Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Paul Goggins. The 60-year old died in January, days after collapsing while out running with his son over the Christmas break.

Politicians will join members of the Goggins family for the service in the church of St Margaret in Westminster Abbey.

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