Were They Really Just “Ancient Allegations” Lord Steel ?

Cyril Smith witht eh then Liberal democrat leader David Steel in 1987


Lord Steel, on today’s BBC Radio 4 World at One, was asked whether he should have acted in the 1970s in the light of the allegations about one of his MP’s behaviour, said: “I had no locus in the matter at all. They were ancient allegations about his time as a local councillor. They were nothing to do with his life as an MP.”

And yet this eye witness account of an incident in 1979 recalled by a member of the Liberal Party and reported to the local police, Liberal Headquarters and the Region at the time suggests that the Party leadership were informed of Cyril Smith’s indecent behaviour toward a young boy while he was a Liberal MP.

In 1979, I supported the by-election for Manchester. Tony Parkinson was the Liberal Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, but Manchester (as a city centre constituency) didn’t have a local group.  The regional Liberal group therefore looked to Middleton, Prestwich and Whitefield Constituency to provide a ‘headquarters’ for the man-power and the organisation.

It was always accepted that Tony Parkinson wouldn’t win – it was one of those situations where the Liberals had to be seen to be fighting in the arena – but it was a lost cause from the beginning.  The Regional Liberal Party (run by John Towers) put up the deposit.  David Alton had made it into the House of Commons after our stalwart efforts of support.

David Whatmough had failed to make a dent in the voting when he stood for Whitefiled, Prestwich and Middleton (and we lost our deposit)
So David Alton visited our ‘headquarters’ (that was my flat) to encourage those of us who were working a full day in professional jobs, and then working another 6 hour evening, to keep the campaign going. I have nothing to say against David Alton. He was always respectful and gentlemanly in my company.

However, there was great excitement when we were told that Cyril Smith MP would come to see ‘all the workers’.  He would come to my flat and help address the postal envelopes with the other ‘workers’.  This felt like a great honour.  By that time (1979) Cyril Smith was a local celebrity.  We phoned the parents of our Young Liberals and explained that Cyril Smith would be arriving …if the Young Liberals would like to attend, they were welcome to come and address some envelopes at the same time and meet Cyril Smith.

Cyril Smith was late but eventually arrived with the Regional Organiser who was acting as his chauffeur. Tony Parkinson’s campaign manager was almost living full-time in the spare bedroom of the headquarters and not doing a lot even though he was paid!  So, Cyril Smith lumbered up my stairs, huffing and puffing and shouting that he had arrived. You can imagine our excitement…we felt so honoured that a person who was a local celebrity and a Liberal icon had graced us with his presence.

He took up the whole of the door-way into my lounge.  John Towers had to introduce him to Tony Parkinson (the PPC) and also to the campaign manager.  I asked Cyril Smith to take a seat whilst I made him a cup of tea.  His answer?  “Well, I’ll need a bigger chair than that. When I have been cheeky on one seat I get cheeky on the other”  So I brought in another kitchen chair so that he sat on TWO kitchen chairs. He was actually HUGE so I thought I was discreetly solving a problem relating to his weight.

I didn’t see anything untoward but, within minutes, when he had wiggled his bottom from left to right – shouting lewd comments across the room – he had broken one of the kitchen chairs. I told him he would have to move and gave him a wooden chair to sit on at another table. He continued to be loud and lewd which made us feel very uncomfortable. (I think this is the time when we felt more on our guard and not overwhelmed by his celebrity status.)

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.

No further action was taken at that time.

So, when Cyril Smith came back onto the radar in 2012 and I heard on BBC News that ‘there were no allegations against him during his life-time’ I was incensed! I hadn’t yet come to terms with all the information I had about Jimmy Savile … so many people not reporting his unacceptable behaviour, turning a blind eye, ignoring, pretending, laughing it off as ‘Just Jimmy’

Well, I phoned my local police station and attended to make a formal witness statement.  Cyril Smith is dead, but the reason I went to the police station and gave witness testimony in 2012 is because that incident was covered up and ignored by police and the Liberal party in 1979.
The local Police have tried to find the original witness statement from my hubby (2012) but apparently “it doesn’t exist”.

The Needle


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

10 responses to “Were They Really Just “Ancient Allegations” Lord Steel ?

  1. im way ahead of you gojam your a mile from the truth

  2. john dunn

    A response from Lord Tony Greaves printed on Liberal Democrat Voice :
    We may find out in due course, if the Rochdale investigations are thorough. But a lot of institutions in those days were not pleasant places – children’s homes, borstals, old people’s homes, mental hospitals, even some ordinary hospitals and schools. Corporal punishment was rife, and not just by teachers. If every such institution was now to be the subject of a detailed and rigorous forensic investigation, a lot of living old people would be exposed to public condemnation and the cost would be huge. To what ends? The real (and often successful) struggles have been to improve the way things are done rather than for ever root out the past and judge it by the standards of now. Or devote more attention to tackling things that are still not good.
    By all means be shocked at what used to do on. But use your energies to make sure that they don’t happen now.
    Tony Greaves
    THis was my reply, which was erased from Lib Dem Voice
    @ Tony Greaves
    “Corporal punishment was rife,”
    We’re not talking about corporal punishment. We’re talking about child sex abuse, and that (in my 60 years of life ), has never been an acceptable practice. Can you point me to a time in your life when pulling down a child’s trousers and fondling their genitals was just, part of the culture of the times?
    These people who did these heinous things, destroyed a lot of childhood, and the people who knew of it happening and did nothing to stop it (or worse blocked investigation), are just as complicit as the offender.
    And I guess the even bigger question is, the what, when and who, is still being covered up for political reasons? Is that why the establishment don’t want to ‘dig too deep’?
    Clearly, Lib Dems just don’t get it?

  3. ivor balanitis


    I also heard that interview on the kevin field radio show, and whilst i agree the liberals did turn a blind eye to cyril smith because he was a ” good constuency MP” the liberals should have said something to stop the boys being abused, but the Tories didnt speak up about Edward heath and the labourites did not speak up about the nest of homosexual boy abusers in new labour,

  4. Every liberal leader since Steel has known,

  5. dpack

    as a slight aside to the issue of smith’s level of immunity.

    drieberg seems to have had a high degree of immunity from consequences and a very wide range of close associates which poses the question of was he a greater asset to those in moscow or those in london?

    is the lady gmb seems to refer a valuable long term asset as her mother might have been.?
    re mother it was quite a rare honour to get onto the nazi black list for immediate arrest /execution after a successful invasion of brittain.

  6. GMB

    What about the leading female labour/liberal who used to drag young researchers into ‘broom cupboards’ at the Commons in the 70’s and 80’s. Predator?
    Source: Anthony Brennan (NI & HO Permanent under sec of state).

  7. Brian Palmer

    I can tell you a bit about this because i heard a radio interview about 5 years back with an intelligence man called T stokes interveiwed by Kevin Field, he said that Cyril smith was not the only active homosexual in either the liberal party or politics at that time, the head of the labour party Tom Driberg was feeding info to the soviets about sexual indiscretions by our MPs, and Cyril was interveiwed by MI5 who saw him as a blackmail threat, oleg gordievski was one of 3 russian KGB men who told MI5 who then told the liberal party,
    Cyril was seen as a hard working constituency MP who just happened to be homosexual.nothing more

  8. Pingback: Were They Really Just “Ancient Allegations” Lord Steel ? | justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis

  9. This is a very disturbing incident that give’s insight into the mind of a
    high profile predatory paedophille who was favoured, he has an air arrogance about him which actually confirm’s this lady’s statement, it’s like
    a beacon,he has obviouslly comitted lewd act’s of this nature before,his imposing figure, and stature within the liberal party gave him an auroa
    of invinceability,by this time he had no doubt had numerious allegations against him dismissed,greater manchester police’s failure to thouroughley
    investigate these imorali disgusting act’s actually gave cyril smith the the green light to go on and commit furthe crime’s of this nature,so there fore greater manchester police are just as guilty as cyrill smith by condoning
    these vile crime’s against young boy’s.
    I would like to know if there are any further statement’s with reguard to this incident,judging from this lady’s statement it sounded like it was pretty full,
    an incident as serious as this would no doubt have caused a few heated discussion’s,so my advice to this lady is, track down the the young boy,and
    his parent’s and possibley his school teacher’s,as this will make for a stronger case against cyrill smith,and greater manchester police,
    , and if possible all return to the same property as this will give them stronger recolection’s and more vivid memeory’s of this horendous act,
    hope this advice goe’s some way to helping this young boy who will be in his late 40’s today gain the justice he deserve’s,thus shining a bright light
    on greater manchester police’s policy’s for failing to investigate child abuse!
    Being a victim of child abuse in care home’s myself i can look at these horedous crime’s from the victim’s point of veiw wich is a very valuable insight,iv’e learnt through operation palyal and various programe’s relating to these vile crime’s,if a collection of statement’s all describe the same action’s by a person or organisation then that is deemed admisable in a
    court of law,so there fore it is my conclusion that the police constabulary’s
    approach to child abuse during the 60’s-70’s was neglegent,and police missconduct of the highest order,by failing to protect the vulnerable of our society?
    antonynostro@wordpress.com THE NEWZ HOUND!