Cyril Smith

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We must investigate new sex abuse claims says Leo McKinstry

Published April 9, 2015 by JS2

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For years there have been dark rumours that a paedophile ring operated at the heart of the British establishment in the 1970s and early-1980s.

Such claims used to be frequently dismissed as nothing more than lurid conspiracy theories.

But after all the revelations about Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile that kind of arrogance is no longer tenable.

A significant new development has further exposed the foul malignancy within the political system.

This week Richard Kerr, a child abuse survivor from Northern Ireland, recounted how he was not only brutally exploited by paedophiles in the notorious care home of Kincora in Belfast but was also trafficked to London, where he was assaulted at the Elm Guest House in south-west London and at a flat in Dolphin Square, the apartment complex near Parliament.

These locations in the capital have heavily featured in allegations about a paedophile network within the elite.

Cyril Smith reportedly was a visitor to the Elm Guest House.

What is so important about Richard Kerr’s testimony this week is that he provides confirmation of the link between the sinister Kincora home and the bases of organised paedophilia in London.

It is clear that the strings of this influential web of depravity extended right across our country.

And that is why it is vital that the remit of the official inquiry into historical child abuse must be extended to cover Kincora.

So far Home Secretary Theresa May has refused to take this step, arguing that allegations of past abuse in Belfast are a devolved matter for the Northern Irish Government.

This is unconvincing, first because the worst of Kincora’s horrors occurred during the Troubles when London was directly responsible for the governance of Northern Ireland.

Second because the home was integral to the operations of the political elite’s national paedophile ring.

Kincora is no minor, peripheral Ulster problem. It is a key element of the abuse saga.

Founded in 1958 as a home for troubled teenage boys the place was turned into an arena of exploitation by its warden William McGrath, a fanatical Orangeman and pederast who eventually was jailed in 1980, along with two Kincora colleagues, for several counts of abuse after a newspaper exposé.

Yet the authorities had known about the nature of his sick regime for years before this.

The reason he had been able to get away with his crimes for so long was because of his connections to the establishment, especially military intelligence, the civil service and Westminster.

In fact it is said that within the establishment paedophile ring Kincora came to be regarded as a kind of weekend retreat.

According to one source, Sir Maurice Oldfield, the former head of MI6, was an occasional visitor, as were several senior MPs.

Part of McGrath’s immunity lay in his closeness to top Unionist politician Sir Robin Knox Cunningham, who was also a pederast and once served as parliamentary private secretary to Harold Macmillan.

While at Cambridge, Knox Cunningham had become friends with Anthony Blunt, later the infamous Soviet spy and another alleged abuser of Kincora boys.

It has been claimed that Blunt used his knowledge of Kincora’s other clients to protect himself from prosecution when he had been uncovered as a spy.

The establishment paedophiles do not seem to have confined their abuse in Ulster just to Kincora’s premises.

I was telephoned recently by a respected BBC journalist who told me that he had uncovered serious allegations that boys from care homes in Belfast and Dublin had been trafficked for rape-fuelled sessions in stately homes in the west of the province.

The violent chaos in Ulster at the time provided the perfect cover to protect abusers and silence witnesses.

In a world dominated by fear the usual checks on the misuse of power disappeared. Investigations could easily be shut down in the name of security.

Former army intelligence officer Brian Gemmell said yesterday that in 1975 MI5 told him aggressively to stop looking into claims of abuse at Kincora despite the powerful evidence he had collected.

Another former officer Colin Wallace said in 1973 that he had received intelligence about abuse but his superiors had refused to act on the information.

The Troubles had also created a society where death was woven into its fabric, thereby giving further protection to those with something to hide.

Many of those close to warden William McGrath came to sudden ends in the early-1980s.

Josh Cardwell, a Belfast Unionist councillor in charge of children’s homes and a suspected paedophile, was found dead in his garage from carbon monoxide poisoning in March 1982.

Even more chillingly John McKeague, a pederast and extreme loyalist paramilitary leader, was gunned down in 1982 soon after he had reportedly told police that he was prepared to give the names of the other men involved in the Kincora paedophile ring.

His killers were reported to be dissident republicans, though it has been claimed that they had links to British intelligence.

This murky world needs a full, public enquiry with the power to demand testimony and documents from the security forces.

The limited investigation into Kincora, currently under way in mid-Ulster, does not go nearly far enough.

A national approach is the least that survivors such as Richard Kerr deserve.

by

Leo McKinstry

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Where might the child abuse cover-ups have taken place and what can be done to get to the truth?

Published March 23, 2015 by JS2

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When I first heard that the Metropolitan police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) relating to alleged cover-ups in child abuse inquiries it stopped me in my tracks. For the first time since rasing the issue at Prime Minister’s Question time in October 2012, it felt like there had been a major breakthrough in a very complex case.

One of the police cases relates to the Elm Guesthouse in Richmond, London. There is much unfounded rumour relating to the 1982 raid on the property. Despite the red herrings I am concerned there was a cover-up in the original inquiry. Sources close to the police have told me that Leon Brittan was named by a child linked to the raid. They say the child used “sexualised language” when speaking to social workers and spoke of his “Uncle Leon”. The sources allege that the police on duty during the night of the raid were instructed by senior officials to ensure that no record was made of the child naming Brittan. They also tell me that a second man, closely associated with the guesthouse, boasted of his friendship with Leon Brittan. Journalists have known these allegations for months. The Daily Mail has recently decided to publish them naming Brittan.

Remarkable investigative journalism has opened up the establishment’s murky past to scrutiny. Despite a bewildering array of false leads, good journalism is getting to the truth.

Journalist Liz MacKean and the team at Dispatches were the first to show that Special branch suppressed a police investigation into Cyril Smith. Thanks to Nick Hopkins at Newsnight we know of a second inquiry into Cyril Smith being shut down. Tom Parmenter from Sky News broadcast a report suggesting a third cover up.

The team at the Sunday People, and Exaro News, were the first to show that a criminal inquiry by the Metropolitan police into the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton was shut down because of “orders from on high”. But how high? That is what we need to know. They revealed that former child protection officer Peter McKelvie, had campaigned for years to have the case re-opened but was ignored by police and politicians.

Righton had a more significant role in child abuse than his £900 fine and caution for assault might suggest. Peter McKelvie finally won his campaign. Last December Righton’s friend and co-member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Charles Napier, a suspect in previous investigations, was jailed for 13 years.

Mark Conrad of Exaro News has also reported that Customs Officers seized videos linked to a former MP.

It has been reported that Mrs Thatcher awarded Cyril Smith a knighthood despite being explicitly told of a police investigation into an “indecent assault on teenage boys.” It has been reported former Detective Chief Inspector told her of rumours relating to Sir Peter Morrison before she appointed him Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. She was also advisednot to award Jimmy Savile a knighthood. The files that detail the reasons are still being suppressed by the government.

Could it be that Mrs Thatcher was also told of Leon Brittan’s links to the Elm Guest House and other inquiries? We need to get to the truth. Theresa May is not wrong to suggest that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

As the volume of thwarted cases grows, the IPCC is creaking under the weight of new evidence. In 2012 The IPPC only investigated 130 cases out of 2,100 referred to them. This was down to lack of staff. No wonder Yvette Cooper wants to abolish it and replace it with a tougher, more robust Police Standards Authority. Reform of the IPCC should be an in-tray item marked ‘urgent’ for the next Prime Minister.

Before his resignation as chair, Malcolm Rifkind assured MPs that the Intelligence and Security Committee is a more robust scrutiny body than ever before. If any group of MPs can get to the truth it is those that sit on this committee. I am writing to ask that they commission a review of what agencies told which ministers about criminal investigations into MPs. They might also want to ask just what was known about the Kincora Boys Homein Northern Ireland by the intelligence agencies.

I believe it is the duty of all former police and intelligence officers, civil servants and officials to share relevant information with the IPCC. David Cameron made explicitly clear that he wouldn’t want to see anyone prosecuted for “uncovering wrongdoing”. We need to hold fast to this commitment. There is a public petition to demand that he does so. Please sign it and share on social media.

This case goes beyond party politics. There needs to be a fundamental culture shift in this country. We all need to stand up for every survivor’s right for justice. The country needs a bigger conversation about what we can do politically, socially and culturally to end child abuse.

by Tom Watson MP

Paedophile Ring: More Questions Than Answers

Published March 21, 2015 by JS2

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The investigation of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s leaves a lot to be desired, writes Steven Walker


The news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating 14 separate referrals of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s might at first glance be seen as hopeful, especially to survivors of child sexual abuse who are pinning their hopes on receiving justice.

But the Home Secretary’s qualified answer to a question put to her by the home affairs select committee regarding immunity for police officers from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act gave the game away.

Her lack of certainty is guaranteed to stop any police officer coming forward with relevant information for the IPCC.

This latest twist in the long-running scandal of an Establishment cover-up of historic sexual abuse against vulnerable children could have another consequence. The long-delayed Goddard inquiry has just got under way after two false starts with inquiry heads acknowledged as too close to the Establishment and unable to secure the confidence of sexual abuse survivors.

But with these twin investigations pursuing parallel courses, covering much of the same ground and focussing on the activities of notorious paedophile Cyril Smith and other MPs, there is a danger of confusion and potential legal conundrums. This could lead to witnesses being called by both inquiries and evidence compromised.

The result could be a legal nightmare leading to stalemate and further delay at best. All of which will suit the Establishment which on past record is very adept at concealing truth, losing evidence and making sure the tracks of abusers are completely covered.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg still refuses to order a full-scale investigation into which senior Liberal Party figures knew all about Cyril Smith and his prolific paedophile activity.

Conservatives Edwina Currie, Gyles Brandreth and Rod Richards have previously made damning statements of how well known in Westminster circles it was that MP Peter Morrison was a dangerous paedophile and yet his career was unaffected as he rose to be deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. He was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary in 1990 and her campaign manager that same year despite this knowledge having been around for many years.

Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s Chief Whip from 1970-73, made public on Michael Cockerell’s BBC documentary in 1995 Westminster’s Secret Service that there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups named the dirt book system.

Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “For anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.”

Just after announcing, 18 months ago, that the Metropolitan Police were about to arrest a former Tory Cabinet minister,

Commander Peter Spindler, who had been leading the police criminal investigation into organised paedophiles sexually abusing young children from a council children’s home in Richmond upon Thames, was taken off the investigation and moved sideways to another job.

The suggestion is that powerful figures had complained about Spindler’s work in pursuing three major paedophile investigations and he had to be stopped.

More evidence of an Establishment cover-up has emerged as another former local newspaper executive has now claimed that he too was issued with an official warning against reporting on an exclusive paedophile ring, when he was interviewed by an officer working for Operation Fernbridge, the major criminal investigation examining very specific claims of sexual abuse and grooming of children.

Hilton Tims told a Fernbridge detective that his paper, the Surrey Comet, was issued with a D notice in 1984 — an official warning not to publish intelligence that might damage national security — when he sought to report on a police investigation into the notorious Elm Guest House. This is the guest house where Cyril Smith MP and other Establishment figures preyed upon vulnerable children taken there from a nearby children’s home.

Tims joins a list of newspaper editors who have gone on record to testify that similar gagging action took place around the same time. They include Don Hale, former editor of the Bury Messenger who recalled that Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s.

Officers citing “national security” confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with other local VIPs.

The dossier was collated with help from concerned social workers by the former Labour MP for Blackburn who personally handed it to him. As well as key members of both the Commons and Lords, the dossier named 30 prominent businessmen, public school teachers, scoutmasters and police officers who had links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group dedicated to legalising sex with young children.

Under the 30-year secrecy rule the National Archives has just released a file prepared for Thatcher which details the paedophile activities of Sir Peter Hayman, a former career diplomat and head of MI6. He was named by Geoffrey Dickens MP in the House of Commons when his name along with many other MPs and government officials, was discovered in a dossier Dickens had collated.

This file is the first clear evidence that Thatcher herself was part of the cover-up.

The director of public prosecutions at the time did nothing either despite correspondence within the dossier showing Hayman’s link to the PIE and evidence of his interest in the sexual torture of young children.

This lack of action mirrored those of the then home secretary Leon Brittan who did nothing and allowed the dossier to get lost in the Home Office.

The historic child sexual abuse scandal continues as the Establishment settle down for the longterm, safe in the knowledge that their sordid secrets are safe from scrutiny, while witnesses are deterred from giving evidence.

– Steven Walker is a Unicef children’s champion.

New Cyril Smith whitewash: Police clear themselves over 1960s probe into paedophile MP

Published March 18, 2015 by JS2
  • Lancashire Police had been accused of covering up Cyril Smith’s crimes
  • But force bosses face claims of a ‘whitewash’ after it cleared itself of blame
  • They found ‘no evidence’ attempts to bring Smith to justice were blocked 
  • Contradicts claims by retired detective that key evidence was ‘locked away’ and they were silenced 

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A police force accused of covering up Cyril Smith’s crimes faced claims of a ‘whitewash’ last night after it cleared itself of blame.

Lancashire Police chiefs declared they found ‘absolutely no evidence’ that attempts to bring the paedophile Liberal MP to justice were blocked.

The internal inquiry contradicts claims by retired detectives that key evidence was ‘locked away’ and they were silenced.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose book about Smith’s sordid double life sparked the investigation, last night accused the force of a whitewash.

He said there is a ‘mountain of evidence’ that Smith was a paedophile and serious failings had allowed him to ‘get away with his crimes for years’.

‘It is very disappointing that Lancashire Police are unable to accept this and are now trying to rubbish the claims of their own former officers,’ Mr Danczuk added.

‘This shows that we haven’t learned lessons from the past and a culture of cover-up and denial still persists.’

The outcome of the inquiry will raise questions over whether it is appropriate for police to investigate themselves in such cases.

Yesterday, the independent police watchdog revealed it is overseeing 14 claims of cover-ups and corruption by Scotland Yard in historic sex abuse cases. The London force will also investigate itself.

MPs want Prime Minister David Cameron to guarantee police whistleblowers will not be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act if they come forward.

They said ex-officers, public officials and spies may hold vital information that could open up suspected powerful networks that protected abusers.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday insisted spies and police will not face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if they give evidence to the police or the Home Office’s abuse inquiry.

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She has invited Justice Goddard, who is leading the inquiry, to seek confirmation from the Attorney General that no charges would be brought.

However, when pressed by the Home Affairs Committee, Mrs May declined to extend the protection to whistleblowers who speak to the media or elsewhere in public.

Police suspect Smith’s activities as a paedophile could be key to unlocking claims of an Establishment child sex ring. The politician abused children at care homes and schools in Rochdale and Manchester.

He was also seen at the notorious Elm Guest House, in Barnes, south-west London, where appalling crimes are said to have taken place involving young boys.

Jack Tasker, a former Lancashire detective, who led one of three investigations into Smith, said it was stopped because it could have led to the ‘fall of the Government’.

He claims his 1969 inquiry into abuse at Cambridge House care home was stalled by Special Branch officers who confiscated his notes and ordered him to forget the matter.

‘We were under the impression then that they’d take the investigation over … but I never heard any more about it,’ he told Sky News. He added: ‘Other people were rather worried that if Cyril Smith went before a court, he would open his mouth.’

Another ex-officer, Tony Robinson, said he had advised Lancashire Police to look at the case file he found locked in a Special Branch safe in the 1970s.

‘It doesn’t surprise me at all that they’ve dismissed the claims,’ he said. ‘It’s an easy way out.’

A Lancashire Police spokesman said it had referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission which ‘determined that a local investigation be carried out’.

He added that the Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department found ‘absolutely no evidence to substantiate any of the claims’.

Chris Greenwood & Jaya Narain

Cyril Smith ‘put pressure on BBC’ over investigating MPs

Published March 17, 2015 by JS2

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Liberal MP Cyril Smith wrote to the BBC in 1976 asking it not to investigate the “private lives of certain MPs”.

The MP, who died in 2010 and has been accused of abusing children, wrote to the then home secretary about “filth, innuendo and stirring” by reporters.

The BBC investigation had been looking into claims of an alleged foreign-backed campaign to discredit MPs.

Former children’s minister Tim Loughton said the former Rochdale MP’s letters were “bully-boy tactics”.

“It was an abuse of position that somebody as an MP was saying, ‘You shouldn’t look at us, we’re above the law,'” he said.

‘Personal involvement’

Smith had been the subject of an investigation into the alleged abuse of children in Rochdale but the case was not known about publicly, and he was never charged.

Current Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is due to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee later, where he is expected to call for a new inquiry to include the activities of Smith.

Mr Danczuk recently published a book alleging more than 140 complaints had been made by victims but Smith had been left free to abuse children as young as eight.

Greater Manchester Police and Rochdale Council are carrying out two separate investigations into child abuse allegations involving the late MP.

More than 100 MPs are calling for a larger inquiry into historical claims of child abuse in schools, hospitals and care homes.

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At the time the media had been investigating a claim made by Prime Minister Harold Wilson that South African secret agents had been trying to smear British MPs.

The Liberal Party was thought to be a particular target because of its outspoken opposition to South Africa’s apartheid policy.

The BBC had employed two freelance journalists, Barrie Penrose and Roger Courtiour, to look into Mr Wilson’s claims.

According to letters in the National Archives, Smith wrote to BBC director general Sir Charles Curran in September 1976 saying he was “deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC”, especially relating to “the private lives of certain MPs”.

“So far as I am aware I am not one of them, and hence I write without personal involvement.”

Public interest

In another letter, Smith urged the then Home Secretary, Merlyn Rees, to ensure the BBC was not using public money for “muck-raking”.

He wrote: “Frankly, I am fed up of the filth, innuendo and stirring that has gone on for the last six months or so about MPs in all three political parties, and I really do think the time has come for something to be published, or for the thing to come to an end.”

The month before Smith wrote his letter, the BBC had ended its contract with Penrose and Courtiour, saying it did not believe it had proper control over where else they might publish their material.

It is understood Smith had not been one of the subjects of their investigation.

Sir Charles responded to Smith, saying the South African story was “a proper subject for journalistic inquiry”.

But he added: “I was not prepared to see public resources devoted to the pursuit of personal dirt, possibly for publication outside the control of the BBC.”

But Roger Courtiour said the two journalists were “totally convinced the story was in the public interest and should have been continued”.

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Part of the BBC director general’s memo relating to the South African investigation

On Tuesday, the BBC said: “The documents date back nearly 40 years, so we have no additional commentary to offer, and their content appears to be self-explanatory.”

The Home Office said it would make any decisions about a further inquiry into child abuse after a number of current investigations were complete.

By Tom Bateman

Cyril Smith child sex abuse inquiry ‘scrapped after his arrest’

Published March 17, 2015 by JS2

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Claims that police officers were ordered to hand over evidence are ‘very credible and very frightening’

The Metropolitan Police are facing fresh allegations after it was revealed that an undercover police investigation that gathered evidence of child abuse by MP Cyril Smith was scrapped shortly after his arrest.

The Liberal MP, who died in 2010, was arrested for his alleged involvement in sex parties with teenage boys in south London during the 1980s, a former police officer told BBC Newsnight.

During a three-month secret inquiry into a high-profile child sex abuse ring, police collected compelling video evidence of men abusing boys as young as 14, the source said.

Newsnight was also told that police had evidence that a senior member of Britain’s intelligence agencies and two high-ranking police officers took part in the abuse.

The inquiry is reported to have led to a house in Streatham, where Smith and several others were arrested. Newsnight alleges he was released just hours later without charge.

The decision to scrap the inquiry was made by a high-ranking police officer, whom the undercover team had no prior contact with, the source alleges.

“Officers were then ordered to hand over all their evidence – including notebooks and video footage – and were warned to keep quiet about the investigation or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act,” reports The BBC’s Nick Hopkins.

Former Scotland Yard detective Clive Driscoll has described the claims as “very credible and very frightening”.

“Smith was being protected by some fairly powerful people […] because he knew of other paedophiles in the networks in which he operated,” said Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has worked to expose Cyril Smith as a prolific paedophile.

This latest revelation comes just hours after the police watchdog announced that it would be beginning an investigation into claims that the Met Police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high-level politicians and police officers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has described the allegations as “historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature”.

The police force refused to comment on the recent allegations, but said that it was investigating allegations that police officers “acted inappropriately” in relation to historic child abuse investigations. It urged anyone with information to come forward.

Met Police probed over claims it covered up child sex abuse

16 March

An investigation has begun into claims that the Metropolitan police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high level politicians and police officers, the police watchdog has announced.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into 16 allegations of high-level corruption in the force from the 1970s to 2005.

“These allegations are of historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature,” said deputy chairman of the IPCC, Sally Green. “Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people our commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.

The investigation will look at claims that London’s police force suppressed evidence and hindered or halted investigations because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.

The list of allegations being investigated include claims that:

  • Police officers sexually abused a young boy and then carried out surveillance on him
  • Surveillance of a child abuse ring was shut down because of “high-profile people being involved”
  • A document, which originated from within the Houses of Parliament, was discovered at a paedophile’s address and listed a number of high-level individuals as being involved in a paedophile ring, but no further action was taken.

The Metropolitan police told the BBC that the force had voluntarily referred the cases to the IPCC because it “recognised the severity of the allegations and the importance of understanding whether or not our officers had in the past acted inappropriately”.

It also said that its ongoing investigations and recent convictions have shown that the service is “fully committed” to investigating non-recent allegations of sexual abuse.

The Week

Thatcher turned a ‘blind eye’ to Smith abuse

Published March 8, 2015 by JS2

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Margaret Thatcher was told about the child sex abuse allegations against the MP Cyril Smith when she was still Prime Minister

The UK government has been accused of trying to suppress a dossier of secret files which reveal that Margaret Thatcher knew about child sex abuse allegations against the MP Cyril Smith before he was knighted.

The documents, only made public this week after an intervention from the Information Commissioner, include an undated letter marked “secret” warning Ms Thatcher that there was “the risk that such an award could give rise to adverse criticism”.

Smith, who died in 2010, served as the Liberal and later Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992.

He was accused of abusing eight boys in the late 1960s and, though he was not prosecuted at the time, police say procedural changes mean he would be today.

Read More: Twenty people claim to be victims of sexual abuse by Sir Cyril Smith

The Cabinet Office has denied a “cover-up” after releasing the 19-page file following repeated demands from the UK Mail on Sunday, and said the case was “sensitive and complex”.

Among the letters relating to the decision to knight Smith in 1988, the warning letter from Political Honours Scrutiny Committee member Lord Shackleton spelled out to Ms Thatcher that police had investigated Smith in 1970 for “indecent assault against teenage boys”.

It said that that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided “there was no reasonable prospect of conviction”.

Read More: Six named in Westminster child sex file sent to police

The letter to the then prime minister said the case was reported in the Rochdale Alternative Press and Private Eye, adding: “One may regret this kind of press reporting but it could be revived if an award to Mr Smith were made.”

Lord Shackleton said it would be “slightly unfortunate” if this “episode” stopped Smith receiving the honour but added: “We felt it right to warn the honours system would be at some risk if the award were to be made and announced.”

The Mail on Sunday reported that another letter in the file, from Britain’s most senior civil servant at the time, the cabinet secretary Sir Robin Butler, asking the DPP why Smith was never prosecuted.

Read More: Murder of three boys linked to ‘MP child sex gang’

He said: “The case for taking the exceptional step of writing to you in this way is to protect the Prime Minister (and The Queen) while also being fair to Mr Smith.”

He said the committee wanted to know “whether the case against Mr Smith was not well founded: or whether it was a sound case, but that the evidence was not likely to stand up in court”.

The newspaper said no reply from the DPP is recorded in the file.

Independent News Service