Monday, 9 June 2014

Richard Farnell Shouts 'Smear!'

Northern Saying:  'There is only them as knows their own, Knows!'

COUNCILLOR Farnell the new leader of Rochdale Council has accused the Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton, Jim Dobbin, of attempting to smear him.  Mr. Jim Dobbin had said on the Sunday Politics show on BBC today (Sunday 8 June) it was 'not wise' for Councillor Farnell to become leader of the Council, while a review into the sexual abuse of boys at the special school of Knowl View takes place.

Councillor Farnell, who was reinstalled as leader last week, was leader of the Council between 1986 and 1992.

Councillor Farnell told Rochdale ONLINE today that he was annoyed at Mr Dobbin's comments, he said: 'Any suggestion that I knew about and did nothing about allegations at Knowl View is an outright nonsense. Any suggestion I was involved a cover-up is absolutely ridiculous.'

He continued to say:
 'I am appalled that some people are attempting to use the serious abuse at Knowl View as a political football to try and smear me. It is an utter disgrace - they should be concerned about getting justice for the victims.  After losing a democratic vote by a wide margin, it is incredible that some people are prepared to now sink so low just to try and smear me. I find it sickening and so will the public. 

And more:
'Although it is 22 years since I was last Leader of the Council, I am sure that allegations surrounding Knowl View made to health and council staff during the seven months towards the end of my leadership were not brought to my attention. I ceased to be the Leader in May 1992.  I totally support the independent review and I have already indicated this to Neil Garnham QC. The review team has my complete support.  The review is very important to the Council and Rochdale and the Inquiry should be allowed to get on with its job without interference from politicians.'

An finally, Farnell said:
'Until such time as the Review is finalised I am legally advised that, as Leader of the Council, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.'

The independent review by Neil Garnham QC is expected to report at the end of next month.

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