Police say late Rochdale MP Cyril Smith abused boys

Cyril Smith was the Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale. He died in 2010. Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

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

Smith, who was elected to Parliament in 1972, was dogged by rumours of abuse throughout his career but charges were never brought.

Both Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said if Smith had been accused today he would be charged and prosecuted.

A GMP spokesman said: "The Force is now publicly acknowledging that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith.

"Three separate files regarding Sir Cyril Smith's actions were passed to first the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the Crown Prosecution Service although on each occasion no prosecution was pursued."