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Case against Cyril Smith 'would have come to trial today'

by - UK Editor

The Crown Prosecution Service says the decision not to charge former Liberal MP Cyril Smith for indecently assaulting teenagers in 1970 would not be made today.

The CPS says eight teenagers made very similar allegations against Cyril Smith.

Former Liberal MP Cyril Smith
Former Liberal MP Cyril Smith Credit: Press Association

There was no prosecution 1970. The CPS reviewed it in 1998 and Smith was told he would not be charged.

Greater Manchester Police is now acknowledging the young boys were victims of abuse by Cyril Smith and three files were passed on, but no prosecutions.

Greater Manchester Police now says if there was the same evidence today on Cyril Smith he would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults and the case would have come to trial.

So, police and the CPS are now admitting three missed opportunities to prosecute Cyril Smith while he was alive and now saying they should have done so.

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Labour MP calls for publication of Cyril Smith files

by - Deputy Political Editor

Simon Danczuk MP has called for all the files relating to allegations of child abuse against the former Rochdale MP Sir Cyril Smith to be published.

The Prime Minister said it is matter for police.

It comes just after Greater Manchester Police announced it would look into allegations relating to the period since 1974. Lancashire Police will look at the period up to that date.

Fresh abuse allegations 'will be thoroughly investigated'

Any fresh abuse allegations against Sir Cyril Smith "will be thoroughly investigated," Greater Manchester Police said.

There has been a lot of speculation in the media about whether Greater Manchester Police investigated allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith in the 1980s and 1990s.

We are examining our records to see what involvement Greater Manchester Police may have had. However, we need to be clear that some of these allegations are up to 30-years-old and predate our computerised records, so it will take some time to establish what, if any, the Force's involvement was.

What I can say with clarity is that any fresh complaints that are made will be thoroughly investigated and we will continue to work with our colleagues at Lancashire Police to provide support to any victims who come forward.

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood

Potential victims with a complaint after 1974 are urged to go to their nearest police station to report it, or call the force on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police forces to investigate dead Liberal MP abuse claims

Greater Manchester Police will investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith from 1974 onwards, the force said.

It was confirmed that Lancashire Police would investigate any allegations of abuse before that date.

Following discussions between the Force and our colleagues at Lancashire Police, it has been agreed that Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith that happened from 1974 onwards.

We have taken this step to clear up any confusion that may have existed within the communities of Rochdale, and among the wider public, as to which Force is looking into the allegations.

The geographical boundaries were redrawn in 1974. Previously Rochdale was a part of Lancashire Police, but post-1974 it became part of Greater Manchester Police. Therefore, to make it explicitly clear, Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any reports of abuse that happened after 1974, and any abuse that happened before that date will be investigated by Lancashire Police.

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood

MP claims MI5 'cover-up' over Cyril Smith allegations

MI5 may have been involved in a cover-up to silence child abuse allegations against prominent Liberal Democrat Sir Cyril Smith, Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk claimed today.

The Labour politician asked Home Secretary Theresa May to investigate whether spies helped hush up long-standing accusations about Sir Cyril, who died two years ago.

File photo of Sir Cyril Smith
Liberal Democrat Sir Cyril Smith died two years ago

Mr Danczuk last week repeated claims the former Lib Dem MP abused boys after being given "a disciplinarian role" at a Lancashire children's home decades ago.

He said today, "Following my comments in the House about Cyril Smith's abuse of boys, I understand the Crown Prosecution Service has now located investigation files against Mr Smith from the 1960s".

"Can the Home Secretary now look at whether it's true the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time received a second opinion recommending Smith be prosecuted; why he concluded it was not in the public interest".

"What role, if any the Security Service played; and how the Government now intends getting to the bottom of what several former police officers are now referring to as 'a cover-up'?", Mr Danczuk added.

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Labour MP's statement to the Commons

Former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith was accused of abusing young boys in Rochdale during the 1960s, in a statement by Labour MP Simon Danczuk in the House Commons.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesman said they were not planning to investigate the matter as there are no current allegations pending.

It said: "We believe there was an investigation in the late 1960s but as no records are now held it cannot be ascertained whether a file was passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions."

Read their full statement here.

Labour MP calls for police investigation into abuse claims

Labour MP Simon Danczuk told the House of Commons:

We need to make be sure that this type of investigation takes place now and that those victims get a chance to have their voices heard.

He added:

As new victims of abuse in Rochdale come forward to speak of what happened in Cambridge House, Greater Manchester Police should consider re-opening this case and I would call upon the minister to do what all in his powers to bring police files from previous investigations into Smith to light.

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