Cyril Smith
Cyril Smith

Child sex abuse allegations against late Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith for Rochdale will be investigated by police, it has been announced.

At Prime Minister's Questions, current Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk called on David Cameron to ensure that all files on Smith were published and any cover-ups exposed by the new investigation.

The fresh inquiry comes after two men came forward to claim they were abused by the former Rochdale MP. 

Greater Manchester Police will lead the investigation into allegatons which centre on a care home founded by Smith. The inquiry will focus on allegations of abuse from 1974 against young residents.

Accuser Barry Fritton told PoliticsHome that Smith abused him as a 15-year-old. "He told me to take my trousers and pants down. He felt my thighs and testicles from both front and back. He held my testicles and asked me to cough," said Fritton. 

"I was crying and he said 'Oh, there there' and he stroked my arse and fondled my buttocks."

The police said: "We take all reports of sexual abuse very seriously and we have teams of specially trained officers who can provide support and guidance if you were a victim.

"I ask that if anyone does want to make a complaint about abuse that occurred after 1974, they go to their nearest police station to report it."

Rochdale used to be within the Lancashire constabulary area, but shifted during a boundaries shake-up. IBTimes UK asked Lancashire police whether any investigation was held into sex abuse allegations against Smith.

A spokesman said: "We believe there was an investigation in the late 1960s but as no records are now held it cannot be ascertained whether a file was passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions."

Greater Mancehester Police were combing through their records to find if they held files on Smith.

"There has been a lot of speculation in the media about whether Greater Manchester Police investigated allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith in the 1980s and 1990s.

"We are examining our records to see what involvement Greater Manchester Police may have had. However, we need to be clear that some of these allegations are up to 30 years old and predate our computerised records so it will take some time to establish what, if any, the force's involvement was."