Downing Street tried to prevent the release of files exposing the scale of the cover-up over paedophile Cyril Smith
The Mail On Sunday has been demanding to see the dossier on Smith’s knighthood and the Downing Street correspondence for a year, but was only allowed to review the secret documents after threats of High Court action.
The 19-page dossier on Smith’s knighthood now finally released to the Mail reveals that a leading member of the Political Honors Scrutiny Committee, Lord Shackleton, had warned Thatcher “the risk that such an award could give rise to adverse criticism.” This is according to one of the letters marked “secret”.
Nick Clegg and David Cameron have been accused of ‘colluding’ in the latest cover-up of evidence that could expose VIP paedophile rings.
Margaret Thatcher was aware that Liberal MP, Cyril Smith, was suspected of sexually abusing boys but “turned a blind eye” to it, even awarded him with a knighthood, secret documents reveal.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who exposed Cyril Smith’s abuse in Parliament said “There is no doubt about it now, from what we know, that she [Thatcher] turned a blind eye to people who were quite clearly pedophiles. That is absolutely clear,”
The Mail On Line reports:
Following The Mail on Sunday’s victory, it can be revealed for the first time that:
– Margaret Thatcher was personally told that police had investigated claims that Smith indecently assaulted teenage boys in the 1960s.
– Thatcher was explicitly warned that awarding a knighthood to the 29-stone Liberal MP risked damaging the ‘integrity of the honours system’, but went ahead anyway.
– A senior Whitehall mandarin took the ‘exceptional’ step of contacting the country’s top prosecutor and police to find out why Smith was never charged with abusing boys at a hostel he helped run.
– Civil servants feared the secret Smith police file might be made public in 1982 – when a burglary at the Fleet Street offices of The Sun newspaper revealed the editor was in possession of a copy. This revelation will lead to speculation that the break-in was linked to attempts to cover up Smith’s crimes.
One insider told The Mail on Sunday that the matter is ‘on the Deputy Prime Minister’s desk’. The fact that the Cabinet Office blocked five attempts by The Mail on Sunday to see the papers will deepen fears of a cover-up at the highest levels over the activities of VIP paedophiles.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who exposed the scale of Smith’s abuse in Parliament, said: ‘Nick Clegg and David Cameron have colluded in covering this up. It involves their people and we should not have to learn about this piecemeal because of journalists pestering for information.
‘Both men need to come clean and make a personal commitment to revealing everything that is now held by Government departments.
‘The Prime Minister promised there would be no stone unturned into the inquiry of historic sex abuse in Westminster. But the Cabinet Office seems to be doing the opposite.
‘Nick Clegg, who sits in this department, has already written to me refusing to carry out an investigation into who knew what about Cyril Smith in his party and it’s disappointing to see the Cabinet Office continuing this unhelpful approach.’
Smith was knighted in 1988 as recognition of his service as a councillor, mayor and MP in Rochdale, Lancashire.
After his death at the age of 82 in 2010, Clegg said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the loss and said everyone in Rochdale knew him ‘as a friend’.
But two years later claims emerged that he repeatedly spanked and sexually abused boys in care homes and hostels, but the authorities saw to it that he was never brought to justice.
The Crown Prosecution Service revealed he had been investigated in 1970, 1988 and 1999 while Greater Manchester Police admitted there had been ‘overwhelming evidence’ that he abused boys both physically and sexually.
A year ago, after a battle with campaigners, the Cabinet Office was forced to reveal that former Liberal leader David Steel had proposed Smith for his knighthood.
Now The Mail on Sunday has finally been given unprecedented access to the Downing Street files on the case.
Simon Danczuk has said that the UK government is refusing to publish at least four other files on historic child abuse because it’s worried about what information may be revealed ahead of May’s general election. He accused the current prime minister and deputy prime minister of a cover-up.
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