Friday, March 15, 2013

New insight into the Cyril Smith affair

The last scandal but three to engulf the Liberal Democrats involved allegations of sexual and physical abuse of boys by Cyril Smith. In recent days more information about them has appeared on the web.

Yesterday the Manchester Evening News published the transcript of a police interview of Smith from 1970. It does tend to suggest that he was using his local power and celebrity to interfere with the investigation of the allegations:
OFFICER: If my information is right, you spoke to one of the boys, who has been interviewed. 
CYRIL: Yes. 
OFFICER: What was that about? 
CYRIL: He told me what you had been asking him. He told me he had made a statement to you. I’ve seen two of them and the third came to see me. I’ve asked them if they have made statements. 
OFFICER: I must warn you about interfering with witnesses. The only reason I am here this morning is because you wanted to see me. I did not want to see you. You must have some suspicion about you and them, about what’s in the statements or you would not be here, would you?
A few days before that The Needle published what it claims is an eyewitness account of Smith's behaviour during the Manchester Central by-election of 1979. The account is anonymous, but it has the ring of truth and someone who was around in the party in those days might well be able to work out who it comes from if it is genuine.

Part of the account runs:
Cyril Smith sat next to a 14 year old boy (I deliberately kept him away from the young girls after his lewd comments). He bantered with anyone – old, middle aged or young… and then his left hand moved onto the groin area of the 14 year old boy. The boy jumped sky-high! My late hubby saw it and moved in very quickly (he sent me a signal to get the 14 year old boy into a safe space next to me). Hubby placed a firm hand on Cyril Smith’s shoulder whilst he ‘whispered’ in Smith’s ear. I believe that my late hubby told Cyril Smith to either remove himself immediately (without bother) or my hubby would remove him without ceremony. 
How my 12 stone hubby would have removed a 30 stone MP I don’t know! Maybe we are sometimes empowered by the sense of indignity, right and safeguarding of those in our care. Cyril Smith did leave my flat without a fuss. My hubby reported this incident to the local police, Liberal Headquarters and the Region.
It may be that his is an invention, but if it is not one would have to wonder if the Liberal Party knew more about Cyril Smith's behaviour than it ever admitted.

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