Police say Sir Cyril abused boys

Police tonight acknowledged for the first time that the late politician Cyril Smith sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s.

Live updates

Sir Cyril Smith family statement

Sir Cyril Smith

After further allegations against Sir Cyril Smith relating to sex abuse were brought to light his family have issued a statement.

"The Smith family is deeply saddened by and concerned about the allegations made so long after Sir Cyril's death and at time when he is no longer able to defend himself.

The allegations are not new and for the most part appear to be a repeat of those investigated by the Lancashire Constabulary some two decades ago.

There is conflicting speculation abut why the Constabulary closed its file.

Sir Cyril's unwavering position was that there was no case to answer and whilst his family has no intention of taking part in a trial by media they will give their full cooperation to any further investigation conducted by the police and/or the Crown Prosecution Service.

They would like to take this opportunity to express thanks for the many messages of support received from friends, associates, ex-colleagues of Sir Cyril and the members of the public in Rochdale"

Click here for more on the story.


Sir Cyril Smith cases would have been brought to trial

We are now in a position to say that on three separate occasions, files were passed to first the DPP and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

Having now reviewed those decisions, we believe that if the same evidence was presented to the CPS today there would have been a very realistic prospect that Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults, and that the case would have been brought to trial.

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood

Police say young boys were abused by Sir Cyril Smith

Officers from Greater Manchester Police have been working very closely with colleagues at Lancashire Police over the past few weeks to pull together the precise chronology of all previous investigations carried out into Sir Cyril Smith's alleged activities.

It has taken some time for the exact details to be confirmed due to the passage of time since the original allegations were made in the late 1960s.

The Force is now publicly acknowledging that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith.

– Greater Manchester Police

Sir Cyril Smith was the Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale. He died in 2010.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports