Former Liberal leader describes allegations against Cyril Smith as “tittle tattle”

Date published: 06 June 2018

A former Liberal leader has described child sex abuse allegations against former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith as “tittle tattle”.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight on Monday (4 June), Lord Steel said: “Be careful about what you say about Cyril Smith because nothing has been proved against him at all. It’s all been scurrilous hear-say and so far we’re waiting for the final outcome of the inquiry, it’s wrong to categorise him in that way.

When asked if he thought Smith was guilty of abuse at all, Lord Steel responded: “I don’t know but I think we have to wait until the inquiry has finished its work. I don’t think it’s right to say he was because of tittle tattle.”

For decades throughout his career, former Liberal MP Smith was the subject of repeated sex abuse claims. He was knighted in 1988, and died in 2010 aged 82, having never faced prosecution.

The findings of The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), opened in October, were published in April. It looked into alleged abuse which took place in Rochdale at Cambridge House Hostel and Knowl View residential school, when Smith was a governor.

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