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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.”

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.”

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Rochdale council suspends abuse independent review

In order not to interfere with any potential police investigation we have agreed to temporarily suspend our independent review.

The council is determined to complete a thorough and transparent examination of the events when it is possible to do so.

In the meantime we await to hear how GMP's wider investigation will proceed.

We also welcome the announcement by the Home Secretary Theresa May of an independent inquiry to look into historic cases of child sexual abuse.

– Linda Fisher, Acting Chief Executive Rochdale Borough Council

Breakthrough for campaigners calling for abuse investigation

The Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered a comprehensive review into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse involving senior politicians at Westminster in the 1980s.

It follows a campaign by the Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk. He's welcomed news of an "overarching inquiry" into how public bodies have dealt with abuse claims over the years.

Alison Mackenzie has the story:

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Panel could turn abuse review 'into full public inquiry'

An independent inquiry into the handling of child abuse cases by public bodies could be upgraded to a full public inquiry if the panel decides it is necessary, the Home Secretary said.

Home Secretary Theresa May announces the review. Credit: Press Association

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Petition for national inquiry has over 77,000 signatures

An online petition calling for a national inquiry into historic sex abuse allegations in Parliament has gathered over 77,000 signatures.

The petition, launched by Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East in the West Midlands, said if an inquiry does go ahead it must be equipped with the necessary powers to properly delve into the allegations.

He added: "Having talked to a number of survivors and retired child protection specialists I know one thing: if this new inquiry is not given the power to obtain all documents it wants to see, then it won't get anywhere."

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'Heinous' sex abusers should be brought to justice

Home Office minister Norman Baker has said that the Government has made it clear it wants those responsible for "heinous" historical child sex abuse brought to justice.

Mr Baker said: "We do take these matters extremely seriously and all ministers have made it very plain that we expect the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and others to take all necessary (steps) to bring those responsible for heinous crimes to justice."

He added: "The fact that these matters are getting extra coverage these days, and the fact that the Government has made it very clear that we take these matters seriously, is encouraging people to come forward, including with historical allegations, and that is exactly right.

"We expect the police and Crown Prosecution Service to investigate them properly."

"No stone unturned" in abuse probe

Prime Minister David Cameron has said there will be "no stone unturned" by an independent inquiry into how public institutions handled allegations of child abuse, declaring it was "vital" to find out the truth of what happened and to learn lessons.

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce a broad independent inquiry later today as she makes a statement to MPs about claims of organised child abuse at Westminster in the 1980s.

Conservative peer Lord Brittan has welcomed the probe, but insisted that claims he failed to deal adequately as home secretary with a dossier of information handed to him by campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983 were "completely without foundation".

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