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Cable: Allegations of Cyril Smith cover up 'very serious'

File photo dated 01/05/91 of the late Sir Cyril Smith. Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Business Secretary Vince Cable has spoken about the "horrific" allegations that the late MP Sir Cyril Smith sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s, saying that the suggestion of an establishment cover up was "very serious".

Speaking as one of the guests on The Agenda with Tom Bradby on ITV tonight, Mr Cable said:

“It is horrific, it is really horrible. Let’s remember this was a very long time ago. We’re talking 40-50 years ago. This is the Saville era. I mean I was actually a member of the labour party when all of this happened. I’ve no personal recollection of it.”

More: Young boys 'were victims of abuse' by Sir Cyril Smith

When questioned on whether the case was an establishment cover up, Cable commented:

“That’s the suggestion, I mean these are allegations. They are very serious. This is criminal paedophilia on a very large scale. It’s absolutely awful.”

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and following @agendaitv.

Vince Cable to appear on The Agenda tonight

Business Secretary Vince Cable will appear on The Agenda tonight. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will join ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the children's author Michael Morpurgo, the novelist and columnist Allison Pearson and the actress and writer Emma Kennedy.

They will be discussing bad behaviour in schools, the housing crisis and ageism.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and following @agendaitv.

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Esther McVey to appear on The Agenda tonight

Employment minister Esther McVey will appear on The Agenda tonight at 10:35pm Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Employment minister Esther McVey will join Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the writer Jeanette Winterson, comedian Rory McGrath and the Times columnist Philip Collins.

They will be discussing Maria Miller, the welfare cap and holidays abroad versus "staycations".

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and following @agendaitv.

Alexander: Ukip 'poses a mortal threat to Conservatives'

Mariella Frostrup, Douglas Alexander, Isabel Hardman and Nick Hewer join Tom Bradby on this week's show Credit: The Agenda/ITV

The UK Independence Party poses a "mortal threat" to the Conservatives' chances of winning the next election, the shadow foreign secretary has told ITV's The Agenda.

Douglas Alexander told host Tom Bradby that he took the threat from Ukip "very seriously" but added: "I think you defeat Ukip is not [by] what David Cameron has done: first of all ignore them, then insult them, then imitate them."

But he admitted he was "certainly not complacent" and that Labour "have got a lot of work to do."

Mr Alexander added: "If you are a party that aspires to be the government you can't just offer anger, you've got to offer answers - so in that sense I don't want to be a replica of Nigel Farage, I want to be a remedy. That means offering different policies that give people confidence."

Tom is also joined by the broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, the Countdown presenter Nick Hewer and the Spectator's Isabel Hardman.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby will be broadcast on ITV at 10.35pm.

Get involved in the debate on Twitter during the show by using the hashtag #theagenda

Shadow Foreign Secretary on The Agenda tonight

The shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The guests joining ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby on The Agenda on ITV tonight are the shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, broadcasters Mariella Frostrup and Nick Hewer and the political journalist Isabel Hardman.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby will be broadcast on ITV at 10.35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and follow us @agendaitv.

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Gove 'hung around eating biscuits' on paternity leave

Education Secretary Michael Gove "hung around the house, eating biscuits and getting cups of tea made for him" when he was on paternity leave, his wife Sarah Vine told ITV's The Agenda.

"I think it's too much," the columnist said of the two-week paternity leave entitlement. "Having fathers around sort of hovering in the first two weeks, well it was just a bit annoying."

Read: Few fathers take paternity new report reveals

Miliband: Budget a 'missed opportunity'

Ed Miliband has hit out at the Government, telling ITV's The Agenda that George Osborne's Budget speech last week was a "missed opportunity".

Ed Miliband addressing the Scottish Labour conference last week. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Labour leader also rejected claims he was too academic in his approach and said ideas were important in politics.

Also on the panel were the comedian David Baddiel, the founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison and the journalist Sarah Vine.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Ed Miliband to appear on The Agenda tonight

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband will appear on The Agenda panel tonight Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, will join ITV's political editor, Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the comedian, David Baddiel, the founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison, and the journalist, Sarah Vine.

They will be discussing paternity leave, the political landscape after the Budget and the rise and demise of West End musicals.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and follow us @agendaitv.

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