Tag Archives: cyril smith

Cyril Smith – an apology is the very least we owe the victims

The Chief Executive of Rochdale Council has apologised for letting down the victims of Cyril Smith. It is time that the Liberal Democrats, as successor party to the Liberal Party made an apology to the victims too – not for any direct responsibility but the fact that he was able to use our party as a front for the “big Cyril”, “national treasure” image which helped him cover up earlier crimes. Cyril Smith is not a figure from ancient Liberal Party history. He was a Liberal Democrat MP for his last three years in parliament, he died in 2010 and his accusers were being criticised on this site as late as 2015.

Victims deserve the following actions from the party:

  1. An apology from the Leader of the Liberal Democrats that the party was unknowingly used as a front for Smith’s respectability.
  2. An inquiry into any remaining evidence about him within the party.
  3. A direction to the pastoral care officer to support any party activists who wish to talk about their own experiences with Smith.
  4. A direction that all references to Smith be removed from the Rochdale Lib Dems website (which has an extraordinary archive with cheery references to his 80th birthday and other events).

Editor’s Note:

The party’s position on this was made clear in a statement issued some time ago. 

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David Steel responds to Cyril Smith allegations: “Idle gossip is not a basis for any inquiry at all”

Former Liberal leader Lord (David) Steel has responded on today’s BBC Radio 4 World at One to accusations that he failed to take seriously allegations levelled in 1979 by Private Eye magazine that Cyril Smith abused boys at a Rochdale hostel. You can listen to Martha Kearney’s interview with him here:

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Farron on Cyril Smith allegations: there is a “need to answer serious questions as to who knew what and when”

Tim FarronLib Dem party president Tim Farron has said a police inquiry is the best way to deal with allegations – previously covered here and here by LDV – that former MP Cyril Smith committed a series of sexual assaults and that this was covered up by the authorities. Here’s how the BBC reports his comments:

Police are investigating allegations that the former MP for Rochdale, who died in 2010 aged 82, sexually abused boys at homes and hostels in the town. Mr Farron said the police inquiry was

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Daily Mail attacks Nick Clegg for Cyril Smith RIP tribute. Why?

mail cyril smith lib dems‘Squirming of the Lib Dems’ is the Daily Mail’s front page splash today. It’s the second successive day the paper has tried, a bit desperately, to pin blame on Nick Clegg for the extensive abuse allegedly committed by former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith in the 1960s and ’70s.

The basis for the paper’s accusations is that Nick Clegg issued a tribute on his 80th birthday and when Cyril Smith died. As Nick has pointed out, “I would never have dreamed of saying the things …

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Lib Dems: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined”

cyril smith bookWe reported here yesterday the latest revelations of extensive alleged paedophile abuse by former Liberal MP, Cyril Smith, in a new book co-authored by his Rochdale successor, Simon Danczuk. Today’s Observer highlights the party’s response, and the responses of two current Lib Dem MPs, John Pugh and John Hemming:

In a statement the party said: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined. His actions were not known to, or condoned by the Liberal Party or the

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Daily Mail serialises ‘The Double Life of Cyril Smith’

daily mail cyril smithToday’s Daily Mail begins the serialisation of a new book, Smile for the Camera: the Double Life of Cyril Smith, co-authored by Rochdale’s Labour MP, Simon Danczuk, who went public with allegations of sexual abuse by his Liberal predecessor in 2012:

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

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Cyril Smith: The decision made in 1970 would not be made today

On 13th November Lib Dem Voice covered an article by Paul Waugh in the Spectator which publicised allegations of child abuse against the former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith.

Yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement about Cyril Smith.

It begins by describing decisions that were made in 1970 about a file of evidence handed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The file, from Lancashire Constabulary, contained allegations made by eight men that they had been subjected to indecent assaults by Cyril Smith as teenagers. The allegations were very similar in nature, and were allegedly conducted on the pretexts of either

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