Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Tory by-election worker says police threatened to bar from Rochdale anyone who mentioned Cyril Smith's predilection for boys

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A remarkable document has appeared on the website of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

It is a witness statement from Christopher Horne, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate and local councillor.

He was a friend of David Trippier, the Conservative candidate in the 1972 Rochdale by-election, and took an active part in his campaign. The contest was won by Cyril Smith for the Liberal Party.

His statement reads in part:
Early on in the campaign many party workers - both Conservative and Labour - became aware that it was - in the good Scottish phrase - the "talk of the steamie" that Cyril Smith had had the opportunity to commit sexual offences with young boys and had taken advantage of those opportunities. 
This talk became general knowledge, and was in danger of becoming officially into the public domain, and, by definition, would then have become an issue in the by-election. However the local police, who to the best of my election (sic) then were the Lancashire Police took action to ensure it was not disseminated. 
The instruction not to mention the matter was conveyed to the Conservative Party workers by a police visit, to the campaign office at which I, the local agent and a number of other party workers were present. I have a vivid memory of the meeting. 
A police officer arrived. He informed those present that "any mention of Cyril Smith's predilection for boys" (his words) would be regarded as conduct likely to lead to a breach of the peace and could well lead to an injunction and an order to stay out of Rochdale during the election. ... 
He was very clear than any mention of this issue would be treated as an office and acted on accordingly; he indicated that the same information had been given to the Labour Party.

1 comment:

Jaywalker said...

They have also posed a statement from an ex police -officer making serious and totally uncorroborated allegations against an ex-MP whose name is clumsily redacted. Totally unnecessary as this person did not come up at all in oral evidence.

Elsewhere they published the name of a deceased MP who had not previously been mentioned in this contact. His name could and should have been redacted.

The whole thing seems to have come straight from Salem Massachusetts