Sir Cyril tribute plaque removed

Tribute plaque removed Credit: ITV

A blue plaque honouring Sir Cyril Smith has been taken down by Rochdale Council bosses to stop any vandalism.

The memorial tribute to the former MP was placed on a wall at Rochdale Town Hall last year but was removed on Wednesday.

The decision came after the town's present MP Simon Danczuk told the House of Commons that a full investigation must take place into historic abuse allegations against Sir Cyril, who was Rochdale MP from 1972 to 1992.

A spokesman for Rochdale Council said: "In the light of the allegations surrounding Sir Cyril Smith, the blue plaque has been removed from the front of Rochdale Town Hall to prevent any potential acts of vandalism. The decision to remove the plaque in no way prejudges the allegations relating to Sir Cyril Smith."

Mr Danczuk identified two alleged victims who have come forward and been named publicly: Barry Fitton, who was 15, and Eddie Shorrock, who was 17 when they were allegedly abused by Sir Cyril.

He also said he was approached by another victim who does not want to be named because he said he was ashamed of what happened to him, and his wife was not aware of the situation.

Sir Cyril, who died aged 82 two years ago, is accused of administering punishments to vulnerable children, such as slapping youngsters' naked bottoms at the Cambridge House hostel in Rochdale in the 1960s. The allegations were investigated by Lancashire Police decades ago but no action was taken.

On Thursday Mr Danczuk confirmed another six people had since come forward to his office to claim they were abuse victims of Sir Cyril.

Lancashire Police said that they had not received any complaints as they urged anyone who believed they were a victim of sexual abuse by Sir Cyril to come forward.

Sir Cyril's brother Norman Smith has rejected the claims as "a load of nonsense".