Thursday, March 14, 2019

Liberal Democrats launch investigation into David Steel

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From BBC News:
The Liberal Democrats are investigating former leader David Steel over remarks he made to a child abuse inquiry about the late MP Cyril Smith. 
Lord Steel said he asked Smith in 1979 about claims he abused boys at a Rochdale hostel in the 1960s. 
He said he came away from the conversation "assuming" that Smith had committed the offences. 
But he claimed it was "nothing to do with me" as it had happened before Smith joined the party.
I blogged about David Steel's appearance before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse yesterday.

But it seems that Lord Steel made the same admission five years ago.

Here is a Daily Telegraph report from April 2014:
Cyril Smith confessed 30 years ago to spanking boys and conducting intimate “medical examinations” on them but was allowed to remain as a Liberal MP. 
Lord Steel, the former Liberal leader who has defended the party’s refusal to hold an inquiry into sex abuse allegations, said on Tuesday that he had confronted Smith about his “unusual” behaviour with teenage boys at a hostel in Rochdale. 
An article in Private Eye in 1979 alleged that Smith, who was secretary of the Cambridge House boys hostel, put teenagers across his knee, pulled down their trousers and spanked them as a “punishment” in the 1960s. 
Lord Steel said: “I asked Cyril Smith about it. I was half expecting him to say it was all wrong, and I would have been urging him to sue to save his reputation. To my surprise he said the report was correct.
I suppose you have to ask why there wasn't similar outrage then.

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