Thursday, 3 July 2014

Home Affairs Select Committee & Mr. Danczuk

SIMON Danczuk MP for Rochdale, who had been called before a Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, used the opportunity to demanded a 'overarching inquiry' into child sexual abuse.  During the Select Committee hearing he stopped short of naming a prominent paedophile member of parliament as he had threatened to do only last week.  This was perhaps because he had recieved criticism that had he done so it may have distracted from the possibility of an early inquiry.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, had responded to Mr Danczuk's call for an inquiry by saying that while he had not ruled out holding a full public inquiry into Jimmy Savile tha may reveal his links to others such as Cyril Smith he announced last week in parliament: 
'We have not ruled out anything, but we want first to draw together the lessons for the NHS and across government as quikly as possible.  One of the important benefits of the way in which we have proceeded so far is that, because it is an investigation and not a public inquiry, we can get to the truth relatively quickly.'

During this Tuesday's select committee hearing Mr Danczuk had claimed that the former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith was a serial child abuser who was sheltered from justice with the help of a paedophile network at th heart of government or 'part of a network of people protecting each other'.  Danczuk insisted:
'An overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse would help us to understand the political networks to which [Jimmy] Savile belonged.  By way of example, he [Savile] was friends with Cyril Smith and appeared in a Liberal party political broadcast in the 1970s and had friends in high places.'

Earlier in the hearing Mr Danczuk said that Cyril Smith escaped prosecution because he was 'part of a network of people protecting each other'.  He then tried to link the recent abuse of white working-class girls in Rochdale to the earlier abuse by Cyril Smith by saying that Smith's victims were 'poor, white, working class boys' in the same way that forty years later the victims of grooming in Rochdale were 'poor, white, working class girls.'

It is believed that the police have confirmed that Cyril Smith had been a visitor to Elm Guest House.  And Mr Danczuk has said he has spoken to a victim Smith had abused there and that  'other high profile figures are alleged to have attended there.'

Danczuk also said a dossier of allegations, compiled at the time by the former Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, had been presented to Mr Leon Brittan.

The former Conservative Home Secretary Lord [Leon] Brittan issued a statement this morning after being challenged to reveal what he knew about a dossier of allegations of a paedophile ring 'operating in an around Westminster' in the 1980s.  Lord Brittan said this morning: 
'As I recall, he [Dickens] came to my room at the Home Office with a substantial bundle of papers. As is normal practice, my private secretary would have been present at the meeting. I told Mr Dickens that I would ensure that the papers were looked at carefully by the Home Office and acted on as necessary. Following the meeting, I asked my officials to look carefully at the material contained in the papers provided and report back to me if they considered that any action needed to be taken by the Home Office. In addition I asked my officials to consider a referral to another government department, such as the attorney general's department, if that was appropriate. This was the normal procedure for handing material presented to the Home Secretary. I do not recall being contacted further about these matters by Home Office officials or by Mr Dickens or by anyone else.'

This statement has been described as 'disappointing' by Simon Danczuk who asked Brittan to tell the public what he knew of the dossier prepared by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens.  

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