Lord (David) Steel Should Be Suspended From The Lib Dems Over Cyril Smith – And More

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Quite what the excuse here could possibly be is difficult to discern. Paedophilia, kiddie fiddling, has long been a crime, it’s not some modern invention. Cyril Smith was suspected of such for a long time and it has always been rumoured that it was covered up. Now we’ve got David Steel – now Lord Steel- telling us that Smith had admitted it to him. But he then didn’t do anything about it. Didn’t even gently suggest that perhaps he should retire from public life. Or, perhaps more pertinently, ensure that he wasn’t selected for his seat standing for the Liberals. Something Steel could have engineered at the very least:

David Steel has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats after admitting he was aware that Cyril Smith was a child abuser but failed to assess whether he was a risk to children. Party officials decided on Thursday night that Lord Steel, the former leader of the Liberal party, should have the whip withdrawn and face a formal investigation.

Umm, if you’re aware that a crime has been committed aren’t you supposed to tell someone?

At the inquiry Lord Steel denied he had been ‘hiding his head in the sand’ over the child abuse allegations made against the former Rochdale MP. Lord Steel said he asked the late politician in 1979 about claims that he abused boys at a Rochdale hostel, and found they dated back to Smith’s time as a Labour councillor in the 1960s.

Err, so that he was in the Labour Party at the time means nothing need be done?

Lord Steel also described recommending Smith for a knighthood in 1988 and said he did not pass on any allegations about the sexual abuse of children because “I was not aware of any such allegations other than the matter referred to…which appeared to have been fully investigated”. And he said it had not occurred to him that children could still have been at risk from Smith.

What talent we’ve got trying to run the country, eh? Had not occurred? Blimey.

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DJMJonathan HarstonRhoda Klapp Recent comment authors
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Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

If there’s a crime for which he could be prosecuted, let’s prosecute. The process being the punishment nowadays, it doesn’t matter if he gets off. Oh, is that malicious prosecution? Well, sometimes an example has to be made.

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

“Umm, if you’re aware that a crime has been committed aren’t you supposed to tell?”
He did. He told the Rochsdale Police, who said they had investigated the concerns, and found nothing to report. Put in that position, it’s very difficult to do anything other than mark the case closed. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

“And he said it had not occurred to him that children could still have been at risk from Smith.”
The accusations were about incidents in the 1960s, it had been reported to the police in the 1970s, who said there was nothing to report, so by 1988 it was claims of actions 25 years ago that had been investigated 15 years ago and cleared. Difficult to say “people are at risk of something declared to have not happened a quarter of a century ago”.

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

Here’s the actual witness statement before making speculations: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/9832/view/INQ002748.pdf

DJM
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DJM

Rochdale ?

Again ??