Tuesday, 29 April 2014
More cover ups
"The Rochdale MP was a larger than life character whose popularity stretched all the way from his northwest constituency into the heart of Westminster. A political figure who – following his death in 2010 – is at the centre of allegations detailing decades of physical and sexual abuse against boys and young men."
"Yet he is also a man who was nominated for a knighthood by Lord Steel, the Lib Dem peer and former Liberal Party leader, in the 1980s. And who had praise lavished on him by Nick Clegg via a public message on his 80th birthday."
"Now the Lib Dem president, Tim Farron, has admitted that his party must "answer serious questions". Who knew what, and when?"
"One shocking revelation is that the Director for Public Prosecutions was passed files containing allegations about Smith three times. In one of those cases in 1970 Lancashire police said it was "impossible to excuse his conduct", arguing that Smith had used his "unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys to whom he had a special responsibility". He appears guilty of "indecent assault", but has always sheltered behind a "veneer of respectability", officers concluded."
"Yet no prosecution was ever taken."
"Now Greater Manchester police and a Rochdale Council-commissioned independent inquiry are investigating if there was a cover up at Rochdale council."
"The Lib Dems insist that they have only ever known what was in the public domain. Before Smith's death that amounted to just two articles, one in Private Eye and one in a local Rochdale publication."
"And that, they say, was linked to events that took place before Smith switched from Labour to the Liberals."
"Mr Clegg, they say, knew nothing of it."
"Yet claims by Simon Danzcuk – the current Rochdale MP who has co-authored the book that contains most of the allegations - claims swirling rumours about Smith's behaviour were rife in Rochdale and Parliament throughout his political career."
"Lord Steel says those rumours never reached his office – but he is prepared to speak to police."
"The Lib Dems have rejected an independent inquiry, saying it is for the police to look into these matters. But they won't be able to avoid all the questions as these shocking revelations keep tumbling out."