Monstrous cover-up: How the Liberal party, police and MI5 concealed MP Cyril Smith’s industrial-scale child abuse
- For four decades, 29st politician was free to prey on vulnerable children as young as eight
- Police received at least 144 complaints from victims yet authorities blocked any prosecution
- New book serialised in Daily Mail details how Smith – who died in 2010 aged 82 – was repeatedly protected despite being arrested for sex crimes
- MI5 and Special Branch officers put pressure on police to drop investigations
- Child porn was found in Smith’s car but police were ordered to release him
- Liberal Party put his name forward for knighthood in 1988 in spite of rumours of his sordid activities swirling around Westminster
The shocking scale of the Establishment cover-up of former Liberal MP Cyril Smith’s sickening sex abuse of boys is revealed today
The shocking scale of the Establishment cover-up of former Liberal MP Cyril Smith’s sickening sex abuse of boys is revealed today.
For four decades, the depraved 29st politician was free to prey on vulnerable children as young as eight.
Police received at least 144 complaints by victims of the predatory paedophile yet the authorities blocked any prosecution – allowing Smith brazenly to continue his abuse.
The Liberal Party even put his name forward for a knighthood in 1988 in spite of the rumours of his sordid activities swirling around Westminster.
David, now Lord Steel nominated him for the honour despite knowing of the allegations about the bachelor MP for Rochdale, the ex-Liberal leader’s involvement emerging only in recent weeks after a Freedom of Information battle.
At Smith’s 80th birthday party, a gushing message from current Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was read out, which said: ‘You were a beacon for our party in the ’70s and ’80s and continue to be an inspiration to the people of Rochdale.’
Now, an explosive new book serialised in the Daily Mail details how Smith – who died in 2010 aged 82 – was repeatedly protected despite being arrested for a string of sex crimes.
Written by one of Smith’s successors as MP for the Lancashire constituency, Labour’s Simon Danczuk, the book reveals:
- MI5 and Special Branch officers put pressure on police to drop investigations;
- child porn was found in Smith’s car but police were ordered to release him;
- he was repeatedly arrested for ‘acts of gross indecency with young lads’ in public toilets but no action was taken;
- Smith was a visitor to the notorious Elm Guest house in South-west London, now the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring;
- senior Labour figures’ support of the Paedophile Information Exchange helped keep Smith ‘hidden from scrutiny’.
In his book, Smile for the Camera: the Double Life of Cyril Smith, Mr Danczuk details Smith’s ‘rapacious sexual appetite’ and highlights chilling similarities between the northern MP and fellow paedophile Jimmy Savile.
For four decades, the depraved 29st politician (pictured above in 1972) was free to prey on vulnerable children as young as eight
David, now Lord Steel (centre) nominated Smith for a knighthood despite knowing of the allegations about the bachelor MP for Rochdale, the ex-Liberal leader’s involvement emerging only in recent weeks after a Freedom of Information battle
Like the DJ, Smith – who in 1973 appeared on Savile’s Clunk Click TV show – portrayed himself as a charitable man supporting young boys to provide cover for his sordid activities.
But unlike in the Savile scandal, police forces around the country repeatedly investigated sex abuse allegations against Smith yet their efforts to prosecute the MP were constantly blocked.
The book details how police officers were threatened with dismissal and gagged by the Official Secrets Act if they attempted to expose the politician’s sordid activities.
Mr Danczuk, Rochdale MP since 2010, first raised Smith’s case in the House of Commons in 2012 after victims contacted him to tell of their ordeals at the hands of the ‘29st bully’.
One young Liberal activist was sexually assaulted in Smith’s office in the House of Commons in the 1980s as other MPs, including then Labour leader Michael Foot, walked by.
Days later, the Crown Prosecution Service revealed that his victims’ claims were investigated by police on three separate occasion – in 1970, 1998 and 1999 – but each time files were submitted to prosecutors, they were rejected.
The Liberal Party, bruised by the negative publicity surrounding the 1979 conspiracy to murder trial of its leader Jeremy Thorpe (right) and aware of Smith’s ‘electoral Midas touch’, was eager to sweep the problems under the carpet
The CPS belatedly agreed that Smith should have been prosecuted and Greater Manchester Police publicly acknowledged, amid ‘overwhelming evidence’, that he did sexually and physically abuse young boys.
The book, co-written by Matthew Baker, reveals that as far back as the 1950s, Rochdale police had their suspicions about the politician.
Smith, MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, was governor of almost 30 schools. In the 1960s, he helped to open Cambridge House children’s home, where he abused boys, often subjecting them to spurious medical examinations.
But when police launched an investigation, the chief constable of Lancashire personally intervened to stop it.
In the 1970s Smith was arrested on a number of occasions in public toilets in London’s St James’s Park, a regular haunt for young male prostitutes after dark, but always walked free.
The cover-ups continued in the 1980s when Smith’s car was pulled over on the motorway near Northampton and traffic officers discovered child porn in the boot.
At Cyril Smith’s 80th birthday party, a gushing message from current Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was read out, which said: ‘You were a beacon for our party in the ’70s and ’80s and continue to be an inspiration to the people of Rochdale’
‘The police were naturally disgusted and wanted to press charges,’ says the book. ‘But then a phone call was made from London and he was released without charge.’
When Rochdale police first started investigating him in 1972 they were threatened by the council’s Liberal leader and, according to Mr Danczuk’s book, rumours of his activities were well known in Westminster for many years.
But the Liberal Party, bruised by the negative publicity surrounding the 1979 conspiracy to murder trial of its leader Jeremy Thorpe and aware of Smith’s ‘electoral Midas touch,’ was eager to sweep the problems under the carpet .
David Steel, who took over from Mr Thorpe as party leader, even recommended Smith for his knighthood despite knowing of the sordid rumours that surfaced in 1979 that the MP had abused young boys.
The Cabinet Office had previously refused to disclose who had put Smith forward – claiming it would breach data protection rules – but the Information Commissioner’s Office ruled earlier this year that there was a ‘legitimate public interest’ in it being disclosed.
Lord Steel was unavailable for comment. Last year, he said he had asked Cyril Smith about the allegations of child abuse and accepted his denial of wrongdoing
Lord Steel was unavailable for comment. Last year, he said he had asked Cyril Smith about the allegations of child abuse and accepted his denial of wrongdoing.
A spokesman for Mr Clegg said last night: ‘Clearly he would never have paid tribute to Cyril Smith if he had had any idea about these horrible allegations.’
The book also describes how Labour politicians’ support for a notorious paedophile group that campaigned to legalise sex with children helped Smith evade justice for years.
Earlier this year the Mail revealed the extraordinary links between the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman, her MP husband Jack Dromey, and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt held key roles in the NCCL, which in 1975 granted ‘affiliate’ status to the group of predatory paedophiles.
Smith was friends with PIE founding member Peter Righton and Mr Danczuk said the NCCL’s backing for PIE helped Smith’s crimes remain secret.
‘Worryingly, it seemed a fair few on the Left, including some who have subsequently become key figures in the Labour Party, were fooled into giving this hideous group shelter.
‘All of which helped Cyril’s cause and kept him hidden from scrutiny.’
Smith was a visitor to Elm Guest House, in Barnes, south west London, which is at the centre of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2602802/How-Liberal-party-police-MI5-concealed-MP-Cyril-Smiths-industrial-scale-child-abuse.html#ixzz2ycOA0s7u
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