A club that has counted Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Palmerston, Lord Curzon and Jimmy Savile as members
It was Cardinal Basil Hume, at the time the Archbishop of Westminster, who put Jimmy Savile up for membership….
Cardinal Hume was presented with the Order of Merit by the Queen
Savile had to wait only two months before being admitted to the club in 1984.
“It’s a considerable thrill for someone like me to be able to rub shoulders with the fascinating people who use the Athenaeum,” the disc jockey said.
“I hope to go there once a week and have lunch or dinner with the object of speaking to people like ex-prime ministers.”
The cardinal had introduced Savile to Pope John Paul II when he visited Britain in 1982. Of Savile’s election to the Athenaeum, the cardinal’s spokesman noted: “He is a great admirer of what Jimmyhas done for young people – and Stoke Mandeville – and is delighted to help in this matter.”
Top prosecutor ‘lied about knowing of sex abuse claims against MP Cyril Smith despite police having said the allegations ‘stood up”
Sex abuse allegations against the MP, who died in 2010, dated back to the 1960s
MI5 passed claims on to police, with one inspector saying claims ‘stood up’
Despite this, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to prosecute
Inquiry hears allegations would have been examined before Smith was knighted
Sir Norman Skelhorn’s decision in 1970 came despite a senior detective warning the ‘sordid’ accusations against Smith ‘stood up’, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard.
Lead counsel Brian Altman QC said that the security services were informed that the Rochdale Alternative Press (RAP), which published an investigation into Smith in 1979, had been misled by Sir Norman’s office.
Alison Richard is co-trustee of the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, a board member at Prince Philip’s WWF-International (Prince Charles, is the current UK head of the WWF) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (along with James A. Baker, III, former secretary of state under George H.W. Bush and secretary of the treasury under Ronald Reagan) and chairs the Advisory Boards of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Luc Hoffman Institute and Perrett Laver.
J. M. BarrieOM, Author of Peter Pan, alleged to have been a pederast, two boys who he became guardian of committed suicide.
Winston Churchill – prime minister, KG OM CH TD PC DL FRS RA, Freemason
Harry St John Philbyarchaeologist and Arabist intelligence officer, alleged connection to the round table group,muslim convert, chief head of the Secret Service for the British Mandate of Palestine had extensive meetings with all involved in the Palestine question. They were Winston Churchill, King George, the Prince of Wales, Baron Rothschild, Wickham Steed, and Chaim Weizmann, the head of the Zionist movement.
Anthony Blunt– MI5 agent, soviet spy, alleged pederast, rumoured to have organised depraved blackmail parties. close to the Rothschilds
This church sex pervert abuses lad and doesn’t go to prison 1993
Patrick Gilbert, friend of royalty, top church official
Athenaeum Club (chairman executive committee 1985-1989)
A top church official who sexually abused a boy of 14 walked free yesterday because it was claimed the shame of jail could jail kill him.
Pervert Patrick Gilbert, a friend of Royalty, molested his victim for four years after paying for him to have ballet lessons. He had sex with him at his luxury home and on foreign trips in his role as boss of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, a Church of England charity.
A leading clergyman who saw them together suspected what was going on, but did nothing. Wealthy bachelor Gilbert 59, who has a previous conviction for molesting two 13-year-old boys, began by fondling the younster in the bath. …Gilbert – head of the SPCK for 21 years was given only a nine-month suspended sentence after his counsel revealed he was sick and suicidal. Judge Michael McMullen said he was not jailing him immediately because the strain could give him a fatal heart attack.
The victim joined a dance class run by a trust of which Gilbert was a governor.
13 July 1988
1988 Conservative Advisory Committee on the Arts and Heritage – Sir Roy Strong, Sir John Tooley, Sir Jack Boles, Lord Rippon Sir Hector Monro – the team believe Patrick Gilbert from SPCK is the best man to advise
Sir Roy Strong, pictured with Prince Charles, has been at the heart of the Establishment for nearly 50 years
A CHURCH of England charity worker who molested a teenage boy was given a suspended sentence yesterday after a judge was told that he suffered serious health problems.
Patrick Gilbert, 59, who had a character reference from a former Archbishop of Canterbury, admitted three specimen charges of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old boy over a two-year period.
And the churchman, who served 10 years as a member of the Archbishop’s Committee on Roman Catholicism, also confessed to a previous conviction for indecent assault on two 13-year-old boys in 1962 while a school teacher.
Gilbert, the former president of the Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge smiled as he left Wood Green Crown Court in north London accompanied by the resident Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rev Christopher Hill. Gilbert refused to comment on the offence or the sentence of three terms of nine months suspended for two years each.
Sentencing him, Judge Michael McMullan, said Gilbert was a ‘wealthy and influential’ man who had breached the trust of the boy and his parents. He added: ‘With an offence of this kind only a custodial sentence could be justified. Considering the seriousness of the offence, I entirely take into account your breach of the boy’s trust.
‘You have also breached the trust of his parents, who put their son in your care because they believed you were the kind of man you appeared to be.’
But the judge decided not to jail the bachelor because of his health and ‘very severe punishment’ he had already undergone through losing his reputation. Gilbert, of Hampstead, north London, had been admitted to hospital last week with heart trouble, the court was told, and psychiatrists assessed him as a suicide risk.
The judge said: ‘You were a man, wealthy and in an influential position, able to assist this young man in his chosen career.
‘Whatever your motives originally were, it ended in wholly illegal sexual gratification with a 14-year-old boy.
‘Any quality of consensuality has to be looked at against the background of the fact that you, a wealthy and influential man, were assisting and enabling him in his career.’
Patrick Gilbert SPCK Holy Trinity Church Marylebone
The Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone, Westminster, built specifically to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon, hasn’t been used as a place of worship since the 30’s, but that didn’t stop artist Paul Fryer from making a religious statement by hanging this terrifying statue of Satan inside.
The piece, titled “Lucifer (Morningstar)” is a wax sculpture depicting the devil snared in a set of power lines.
In 1937 Penguin moved out to Harmondsworth, and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), an Anglican missionary organization, moved in. It was their headquarters until 2006, when they relocated to Tufton Street, Westminster (they have since moved again to Pimlico); the church is currently used as an Events space operated by One Events and known as One Marylebone.
Patrick Nigel Geoffrey Gilbert, religious organization administrator. Decorated Lord of Manor of Cantley Netherall, Norfolk, Order of St. Vladimir; recipient awards for civic and professional service
born: May 12, 1934
Educated, Cranleigh School, Merton College, Oxford. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Columbia Pacific University, 1982.
Lecturer further education South Berks College, 1959-1962. Personal assistant to Sir Edward Hulton, 1962-1964. With Oxford University Press, 1964-1969, managing director in Westinghouse group, 1970.
General secretary Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1971-1992. Consultant Three Georges Development Company, 1994-1997, Saga Travel, 1994-1998.
Board directors Surrey Building Society, 1988-1993. Chairman Camden Arts Council, 1970-1974, vice president, 1974-1990. Steward Artists’ General Benevolent Institution, 1971-1993.
Trustee Overseas Bishoprics Fund, 1971-1992, Richards Trust, 1971-1992, Buxton Trust, 1973-1992, chairman, 1983-1992. Trustee World Association Christian Communications, 1975-1987. Governor, vice-chairman St. Martins in Fields School, 1971-1972.
Fellow Corporation of Saints Mary and Nicholas-Woodard Schools), 1972-1992, trustee, corporation executive, 1981-1992. Chairman board trustees, honorary treasurer Art Workers Guild, 1976-1986. Chairman, founder National Association Local Arts Council, 1976-1980, vice president, 1980-1993.
Governor body SPCK Australia, 1977-1992, New Zealand, 1988-1992, India, 1971-1992. Governor Ellesmere College, Shropshire, 1978-1987, St. Michael’s School, Petworth, 1978-1988, Roehampton Institute Higher Education, 1978-1992, Pusey House, Oxford, Contemporary Dance Trust, 1981-1990. Active All Saints Educational Trustee, chairman finance and investment committee, 1978-1992.
Active Partnership for World Mission, 1979-1992, Church Public Committee, 1980-1984, Executive Anglican Consultative Council Research Project, 1982-1984, Court of City University, 1987-1993. Board directors SPCK, United States, 1983-1992. Chairman academy disciplinary appeals tribunal Roehampton Institute, 1983-1989, chairman audit committee, 1989-1992.
Chairman Concord Multicultural Arts Trust, 1980-1989. Trustee Dancers Resettlement Fund, chairman finance committee, 1982-1990, Dancers Resettlement Trust, 1987-1990. Member Greater London Arts Association (honorary life, chairman 1980-1984), Master Worshipful Company of Woolmen, Publications Association (council member 1990-1992), Athenaeum Club (chairman executive committee 1985-1989), Nikaean Club (chairman 1984-1992)
Patrick Nigel Geoffrey Gilbert was a director at Guild Of Freemen Of The City Of London. This company, registration number 00109150, at the time was located at 4 Dowgate Hill,, London, NW3 6SU. The records indicate there are 7 filings that mention Patrick Nigel Geoffrey Gilbert. This 83-year-old British national had been a director from May 22, 1992. Patrick Nigel Geoffrey Gilbert’s work history includes 2 positions. Among the professionals Gilbert worked with we can name: Dr John Thomas Breen (from 1992-05-22 to 2013-07-12), a director at Guild Of Freemen Of The City Of London, and Lady Moorea Black (from 1992-05-22 to 2009-07-08), an established director at Guild Of Freemen Of The City Of London. Patrick Nigel Geoffrey Gilbert resigned from being a director on June 30, 1993.
Pattinson was first touched by scandal in 1987 in connection with the Preface to Crockford’s Clerical Directory, written anonymously by his friend the Revd Canon Gareth Bennett, Dean of Divinity of New College, Oxford, who committed suicide as a result of the controversy it caused. Pattinson was responsible for commissioning the Preface and was thought to have failed to predict the outcome of publishing it
Questions over churchman’s charity trip: Andrew Brown reports on a leading Anglican’s visit to South Africa with a homosexual friend
4 December 1992
THE MOST powerful layman in the Church of England took his homosexual companion around South Africa on a trip for an Anglican charity, the Independent has learnt. He later repaid to the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge the extra costs involved.
The bills, showing the two men shared a room on the trip in 1990, were approved by Patrick Gilbert, the society’s then managing director, who resigned suddenly last year and is now facing charges of indecent assault.
The Rev Sir Derek Pattinson, as he now is, was secretary-general of the Church of England’s General Synod for 18 years, until 1990, when he was knighted on retirement and embarked on training for ordination.
He was also chairman of the executive committee at the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, a 300-year-old missionary society and publishing house, currently being investigated by the Charity Commissioners after revelations about the extravagance of Mr Gilbert, its last managing director.
Sir Derek set off on a prolonged fact-finding trip around southern Africa at SPCK’s expense in the autumn of 1990, while he was still secretary-general of the Synod.
In Johannesburg he was joined, by pre-arrangement, by Barnaby Miln, a homosexual activist who had been the one of the youngest Justices of the Peace in England.
For most of the years when Sir Derek, 62, was training for the priesthood, he lived with Mr Miln in a flat in Westminster owned by the Diocese of London.
Dr Graham Leonard, the traditionalist who has now announced he plans to leave the Church of England in protest against women priests, was then Bishop of London. He agreed to Sir Derek’s ordination without the customary investigation of his suitability by the Church’s Advisory Council on Ministry.
‘It’s perfectly true that (Sir Derek) never went to a selection conference, because technically he was the employer of the staff who were arranging it,’ Dr Leonard said.
Mr Miln claims that Dr Leonard knew the set-up. ‘The Daily Mail chap, Tony Doran, had got through the outer door on the morning of the deaconing and accused (Sir Derek) to his face of being a homosexual. And Derek sent him away,’ he said.
‘The telephone then started ringing, and Graham Leonard decided to go ahead . . . The organist was told to play full blast, should there be a protest; and at the private do afterwards. Graham Leonard came up to me and said: ‘I did you a favour, Barnaby.’ ‘
Dr Leonard attended a packed General Synod debate in 1987 when Sir Derek was on the platform and Mr Miln, then a lay member, announced that he was a homosexual.
The Synod went on to pass by an overwhelming majority, a motion condemning ‘homosexual genital activity’.
Before Sir Derek could become a priest, Dr Leonard retired, and was replaced by the Rt Rev David Hope, the former bishop of Wakefield. He compelled Sir Derek to return to the theological college at Mirfield, Yorkshire, for an extra term, which he had hoped to skip. But he did ordain him.
Dr Hope said: ‘I knew that they were sharing rooms or a flat. But it was put to me that Barnaby Miln was looking after Derek, caring for or about him. I would presume that their domestic arrangements were satisfactory and wholesome because I was not told otherwise.’
Sir Derek serves as a curate in St Gabriel’s, Warwick Square, central London, whose rector is David Skeogh. Mr Skeogh, a ‘high’ Anglo-Catholic, is a former schoolteacher who served as Dr Leonard’s domestic chaplain both in Truro and London.
While Sir Derek was away at Mirfield last spring Mr Miln began a relationship with David O’Reilly, a young Irishman. He had previously been attracted to a handsome Australian teacher, whose athletic interests led him to take up an exercise programme, which resulted in a knee injury.
Mr Miln said he was due for a cartilage operation at the end of March and ‘needed somebody to get me around. And Derek was due back from Mirfield for the ordination and so forth. So we needed somebody to drive us around.’
David O’Reilly was Mr Miln’s chauffeur and lover from April until he died in mysterious circumstances behind King’s Cross railway station, north London, on 6 August this year.
On 20 May, for reasons which are still unclear, two police cars pulled over Mr Miln’s car as Mr O’Reilly was driving him along the Westway in London. The two men were taken separately to police stations, and interrogated for six hours. The car was searched, but nothing unusual was found except some leaflets promoting the Anglican Centre in Rome.
Mr O’Reilly introduced Mr Miln to hard drugs very soon after their relationship began. Mr Miln said that in very little time he was spending hundreds of pounds a week on heroin and cocaine.
On 6 August, Mr Miln’s 45th birthday, Mr O’Reilly drove him to King’s Cross. He parked there, left Mr Miln in the car, and went to buy some cocaine. What happened next is unclear. Mr Miln believes it was murder: the Crown Prosecution Service found no case to answer, when police passed on papers of the case. In any case, Mr O’Reilly fell, or was pushed, under the wheels of a lorry and died.
Sir Derek collected Mr Miln from the police station where he had been questioned for hours by officers wanting to know why he was in the car and what Mr O’Reilly had been doing. He denied everything, but admitted on two separate occasions afterwards that Mr O’Reilly had in fact been buying cocaine for him.
The relationship between Sir Derek and Mr Miln deteriorated, though the two men continued to live together.
Since Mr Gilbert’s forced retirement last year from the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, the new managing director, Paul Chandler, has completely revised its financial controls. He said yesterday that none of the society’s travel budget came from contributions made by the public.
Sir Derek, when challenged over the allegations, replied that he had paid by cheque for Mr Miln’s share of the hotel bills in South Africa immediately after his return. But he could not produce a record of this.
He has disappeared and cannot be contacted. Dr Hope has ordered him to take medical leave for six weeks, and will review his position at the end of that time.
Milne – partner of Sir Pattinson’s -Pattinson’s closest friend – Patrick Gilbert
Claims that a former Justice of the Peace and member of General Synod, Barnaby Miln, ran a gay prostitute ring from a flat he shared with the general secretary of the Church of England, Sir Derek Pattinson, are also advanced. In 2003 the tabloid newspaper The People ran an expose of Miln with the headline
“GAY SEX DEN IN CHURCH BOSS’S £1m FLAT; Kinky friend of royals runs orgies yards from Westminster Abbey.”
“That Was The Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People” by Andrew Brown of the Guardian and Prof. Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University, the publisher’s advertisement for the book, set for release on 11 Feb 2016, states:
The Church of England still seemed an essential part of Englishness, and even of the British state, when Mrs Thatcher was elected in 1979. The decades which followed saw a seismic shift in the foundations of the C of E, leading to the loss of more than half its members and much of its influence. In England today ‘religion’ has become a toxic brand, and Anglicanism something done by other people. How did this happen? Is there any way back?
This ‘relentlessly honest’ and surprisingly entertaining book tells the dramatic and contentious story of the disappearance of the Church of England from the centre of public life. The authors – religious correspondent Andrew Brown and academic Linda Woodhead – watched this closely, one from the inside and one from the outside. That Was the Church, That Was shows what happened and explains why.
Those familiar with the contents of the book report it recounts episodes in the life of the Church of England from the controversy over the preface to the 1988 edition of Crockford’s Clerical Directory, which excoriated Archbishop Robert Runcie and the leadership of the Church of England as “wicked” and intolerant — the fury of the church establishment in response is believed to have led to the suicide of the preface’s author, the Rev. Gareth Bennett, to salacious claims about the sexual peccadilloes of leading churchmen.
The late John Stott is claimed to have been gay and to have penned an anonymous book in 1970 supporting homosexuality. Claims that a former Justice of the Peace and member of General Synod, Barnaby Miln, ran a gay prostitute ring from a flat he shared with the general secretary of the Church of England, Sir Derek Pattinson, are also advanced. In 2003 the tabloid newspaper The People ran an expose of Miln with the headline “GAY SEX DEN IN CHURCH BOSS’S £1m FLAT; Kinky friend of royals runs orgies yards from Westminster Abbey.”
Writing in the Independent in 1995 about General Synod’s debates on homosexuality Brown wrote:”Only one man, a JP from Hereford named Barnaby Miln, admitted to being a homosexual. Later, he was to live with the Secretary-General of the General Synod, the Rev Sir Derek Pattinson, after the couple had been on a tour of southern Africa partially paid for by SPCK, the oldest missionary society in the Church of England. Mr Miln was last heard of in Hereford jail, serving six months for defrauding the inmates of an old people’s home.”
References to Miln’s imprisonment have been removed over the past few months from his entry on Wikipedia. Anglican Ink has not been able to verify the veracity of the Independent’s claim that Miln had been imprisoned — and it has not seen the letter detailing the grounds for the threatened libel action.
Asked to comment on the reasons for the recall and for the grounds upon which a libel action was laid, Bloomsbury’s publicity agent responded: “ I only know that there’s been a legal complaint.”
Pattinson was vice-president of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
In his most recent Who’s Who entry Derek Pattinson cited Barnaby Miln (three years ago the subject of a tabloid story detailing his taste for rent boys, cocaine and spanking sessions) as his “partner”.
” A TOP churchman’s boyfriend has turned their pounds 1million home into a depraved gay spanking brothel, The People can reveal.
Barnaby Miln, pal of royals and bishops, provides rent boys and perverted sex services including bondage and corporal punishment.
MPs, civil servants, showbiz personalities and respected church dignitaries are among the clients invited to his monthly gay orgies.
Former magistrate Miln uses the internet to advertise the vice den in the plush flat yards from Westminster Abbey that he has shared with his gay lover the Rev Sir Derek Pattinson for 15 years.
Sir Derek was the Church of England’s most senior layman – secretary general of the church’s “parliament” the General Synod – for 18 years before becoming a minister.
The couple’s pals among the rich and famous will be shocked to learn of Miln’s sordid activities, exposed by a special People investigation.
The man who brags he was close to the Queen Mum and Princess Margaret and was an adviser to a former Archbishop of Canterbury acts as a gay prostitute offering caning and other kinky services.
And he has handsome young men on his books who charge pounds 200 for sex. Miln told our undercover reporter he could have sex with him for pounds 60, saying: “My fantasy is to take a pretty boy like you in broad daylight and right in front of the Abbey.”
The 56-year-old pervert, who advertises his spanking parlour as the Headmaster’s Study:
-KEEPS canes, handcuffs and other restraint gear in the swish apartment where the walls are covered by framed photographs of famous churchmen and one of Miln with Princess Anne.
-REVELS in dangerous sex, shrugging off the perils of Aids.
-OFFERED our investigator ecstasy, apologising for being out of the cocaine he likes to share with gay partners.
-BOASTED of having sex with thousands of men including a new 19-year-old lover.
Miln, whose clients call him Judge Judy after the American TV series, told our man: “I love sex, I can’t help myself. I love meeting gay boys or straight men over the internet.
“It gives me a reason to live. But the older you get the more isolated you become.
That is why I went on the game, to treat young boys like you to the discipline you deserve.”
The People investigated after spotting an advert for the Headmaster’s Study in a seedy gay contact magazine. We also traced a website advertising spanking sessions.
Miln was pictured posing in his study alongside photos of clients stretched over a bookshelf being caned. Our investigator was invited to the apartment in Strutton Court, Great Peter Street, after swapping text messages with Miln to fix an appointment.
Sir Derek, 73, was not there. He has a broken leg and spends most days in a London nursing home.
Miln talked about the private parties he arranged and said: “I get all sorts here – civil servants from Whitehall, MPs, the odd showbiz personality and even people from Buckingham Palace. I know one or two people there and naturally I get some top names in the church as well.”
Our man saw the handcuffs and restraints that Miln keeps in the bedroom. A brolly stand in the drawing room was crammed with canes.
Miln lost no time in offering our reporter sex without a condom and told him: “There is nothing better than dangerous sex.
“I could have HIV but at my age I don’t care. If I then give it to someone it will be because of their stupidity.”
He added: “I had a test a month or so ago so I don’t think there would be any danger to you.” But it seemed a strange attitude for a man who was special adviser on Aids and sexuality to Dr Robert Runcie when he was Archbishop of Canterbury.
There were several volumes on Aids on the bookshelves in the flat. Miln even devised the red ribbon as a symbol of Aids awareness. With Sir Derek, he also helped raise large sums for the Anglican Church with events including a VIP reception at Lambeth Palace. In 1997 he escorted Princess Anne round a Christian Aid exhibition in Scotland.
It was a very different world to the one he revealed to The People’s investigator. He said he charged pounds 60 an hour as a gay escort offering caning and other kinky corporal punishment.
He also said he had half a dozen younger guys ready to provide gay sex.
In a casual sweater and trendy Armani jeans and sporting a gold Rolex, Miln emerged from the kitchen with two glasses of Jack Daniels and Coke. He also offered the investigator a cigar and an ecstasy tablet “to help unwind”.
He admitted: “I like to share cocaine but haven’t got any with me at the moment.”
Miln said Sir Derek was “out of town at the moment and too old to take an active part.” But Sir Derek’s involvement with Miln landed him in a huge row with church elders in 1990.
He had taken his lover on a six-week fact-finding tour of South Africa paid for out of church missionary funds.
Two years later Miln was quizzed by police probing the mysterious death of his chauffeur, a young Irishman he had an affair with. The man’s body was found at the back of King’s Cross railway station.
Police discovered he had introduced Miln to hard drugs and the two had spent a fortune on heroin and cocaine.
Miln was a JP in Hereford and London from 1978 to 1994 and lived with his elderly mother in Edinburgh for some years. He was once a member of the Synod but turned his back on the Church after a ruling that practising homosexuality was considered a sin.
Three years ago he set up a gay escorts agency in Edinburgh employing about 20 rent boys as young as 18. He found them through fliers dropped in pubs, clubs and other gays gay haunts.
Miln tried to recruit the investigator as a rent boy and invited him to return to the flat the following day.
When our man arrived Miln claimed he had just finished “punishing” a university lecturer who regularly turned up for a thrashing with a whip.
Miln urged the reporter to relax. He handed him an ecstasy tablet from about 30 he had in a drawer by his bed, saying, “Here, take on of these.”
The investigator said he would take it later. Laboratory tests confirmed it was ecstasy.
We later confronted Miln and asked him whether Sir Derek knew of the sordid activities at the flat.
Miln said: “He’s too ill for that. He’s muddled and forgets things in five minutes but we have spoken about it.
“Derek is still my partner but he is not at all well and in a nursing home. He has been there for several months.”
Asked about the ecstasy, he said: “I’d rather not comment about that.”
A spokesman for the Diocese of London , former owners of the flat, said: “Sir Derek is a non-stipendiary minister but is very old now.
” The property is no longer anything to do with us.”
Whilst on the General Synod Barnaby Miln was a trustee and later chairman of the Langley House Trust for ex-offenders and treasurer of the (British) Churches Council on Alcohol and Drugs. He brought to the latter his experience as a licensing justice in Hereford.
Days after Ward’s arrest, there was a meeting at the Athenaeum Club of men who had been asked by his solicitors to testify to his good character; they decided that if Astor had declined then so would they.
Stephen Ward at the centre of the Profumo affair was killed on orders from MI5, according to an unnamed MI6 operative. The MI6 contact told them Ward was a threat. He is quoted as saying there were sex photographs, which could damage the Macmillan government and the royal family. …on the night he died, Ward wrote to the Home Secretary, Henry Brooke, but the letter was suppressed.
DISCLAIMER: THE POSTING OF STORIES, COMMENTARIES, REPORTS, DOCUMENTS AND LINKS (EMBEDDED OR OTHERWISE) ON THIS SITE DOES NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, NECESSARILY EXPRESS OR SUGGEST ENDORSEMENT OR SUPPORT OF ANY OF SUCH POSTED MATERIAL OR PARTS THEREIN.
It’s all a matter of public record…You cannot be silenced for discussing something already in the public domain. … research and form your own conclusions.
118. The fact that Cyril Smith’s public standing and professional career were never negatively impacted in any significant way by the suggestion that he was involved in child sexual abuse has given rise to considerable speculation that he was in some way protected by other politicians.We may consider the possibility that Smith was actively supported at the level of national politics, or at the very least, had a blind eye turned towards allegations against him, as part of the Westminster investigation.
Resigned Rochdale council leader ‘lied to child abuse inquiry’
Richard Farnell faces police investigation after inquiry says he lied while giving evidence
Rochdale’s recently resigned council leader is facing a police investigation after an official inquiry concluded that he lied over evidence he gave about child sexual abuse allegations.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said the evidence given by Richard Farnell about his knowledge of abuse in the Greater Manchester town “defies belief”.
In a report, published on Thursday, the inquiry took the extraordinary step of stating that it believed Farnell lied under oath while giving evidence in October 2017.
Farnell, who is still a councillor in Rochdale, quit on 8 December after weeks of mounting pressure over his testimony at the public inquiry.
In its 154-page report, IICSA described Farnell’s refusal to accept responsibility for events as “shameful”.
Prof Alexis Jay, the chair of the inquiry, said: “After listening to the evidence presented by a number of victims and survivors in Rochdale at the time, I am deeply disturbed at the evidence of extensive abuse and the institutional responses to that abuse.
“Many of those who testified to their abuse have never had the opportunity to seek justice through the courts. I hope that the public hearings and this report has offered them some measure of acknowledgement for their suffering.”
The report, the inquiry’s first into abuse in the UK, follows three weeks of evidence about allegations spanning from the early 1960s to the mid-90s. It concluded that there was “no deliberate cover-up by the authorities” but “a careless and wholly inadequate response” to the serious sexual abuse of children at Knowl View school.
The report also criticised Margaret Thatcher’s “remarkable” decision to award a knighthood to the suspected child abuser Cyril Smith. It said the knighthood in 1988 showed the “unwillingness of those at the highest level” to believe his victims.
The report is concerned with the institutional responses of the council, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service into child sexual abuse in Rochdale between the early 1960s and the mid 1990s.
It highlights the vulnerability of the children at the council-run Knowl View School and how the institution failed to keep pupils safe from harm for 25 years. It finds staff complacent and arguably complicit.
Sexual exploitation of boys was also happening in the town centre, the bus station and the Smith Street public toilets which were across the road from the council’s offices. The report catalogues the total lack of urgency on the part of the authorities to treat the matters as serious sexual assaults; boys as young as 11 were not regarded by those in authority as victims but as authors of their own abuse.
The Inquiry heard evidence about sexual abuse at Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel. It outlines the lost opportunities to prosecute former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith (who was Honorary Secretary of Cambridge Boys’ Hostel) in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse, and the unwillingness of those at the highest level to recognise that a person of public prominence was capable of perpetrating child sexual abuse.
The report is also clear that the Inquiry did not believe the evidence of Richard Farnell, then leader of Rochdale Council, who resigned some weeks after giving evidence about child sexual abuse in council-run establishments. His refusal to accept responsibility for events is described by the Inquiry as shameful.
Professor Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry, said:
“After listening to the evidence presented by a number of victims and survivors in Rochdale at the time, I am deeply disturbed at the evidence of extensive abuse and the institutional responses to that abuse.
“Many of those who testified to their abuse have never had the opportunity to seek justice through the courts. I hope that the public hearings and this report has offered them some measure of acknowledgement for their suffering.”
Thirty years of child abuse – the many missed chances to save Rochdale’s victims
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published a report many people have waited decades to see – here are some of the report’s key findings, including the abuse taking place right outside the window of the town hall’s social services department.
12 APR 2018
Today the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published a report many people have waited decades to see.
As reported earlier today, the inquiry’s investigation into four decades of abuse in Rochdale , including by the late MP Cyril Smith and on the streets of the town, issues a damning verdict on former council leader Richard Farnell, finding that he lied under oath.
But the wider inquiry is about the victims, what they went through between the 1960s and mid-1990s, and why the abuse was not stopped or prevented.
Here we run through some of the report’s key findings, including the abuse taking place right outside the window of the town hall’s social services department.
Cyril Smith and Cambridge House
The late Liberal MP Cyril Smith was not the entire focus of the inquiry, but he was the ‘starting point’.
IICSA outlines his considerable power within the town – even while still a councillor in the 1960s – and his close involvement with the council’s decisions over where children would be placed in care, more so than would appear to be ‘usual’. Over the course of his political career he was governor of up to 30 different schools in the town.
In particular the inquiry focuses on his activities at the Cambridge House boy’s hostel in Rochdale, set up under by the Rochdale Hostel for Boys Association – of which he was honorary secretary – in 1962.
It heard the testimonies of several men who described assaults and molestations carried out under the pretext of medical examinations during the three years it was open, some of which were later reported to the police.
One victim said he believed the couple who ran the hostel had it under ‘instruction’ that any time any boy felt ill, he would be called in to examine them.
When questioned about the allegations in 1970, Smith said that he had been acting ‘in loco parentis’ to the boys there.
“But we found it inexplicable that he thought his role permitted ‘medical examinations’ when he had no medical qualifications,” finds the report.
“He had considerable control over which boys were admitted to the hostel and, in general, showed a strong, perhaps unduly detailed, interest in children in care as his political career developed.
“This interest appeared to go unchallenged by the council.”
It finds he tried to use his power in the town to exert undue influence, including by trying to keep victims quiet – but that the police were not leant on and, in fact, were not well-disposed to Smith at any rate.
Neither does it find evidence of a cover-up by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who in 1970 recommended that he not be charged, or by the committee in charge of awarding knighthoods under the Thatcher government in 1988.
However it is still critical of those discussions, finding: “While there was never any expression of concern for boys who had made allegations against Smith, there was considerable discussion about whether it would be fair to Smith to refuse him a knighthood, and worries about the potential reputational risk to the honours system.
“There was little further investigation into the allegations against Smith by the political honours scrutiny committee, demonstrating a considerable deference to power and an unwillingness to consider that someone in a position of public prominence might be capable of perpetrating sexual abuse.”
The Smith Street toilets
The report identifies a particularly stark fact about the child exploitation taking place right under the nose of Rochdale council .
By the late 1980s the Smith Street toilets, slap bang across the road from the town hall’s social services department and visible from its window – pictured below – had become a well-known place for grown men ‘from all over the north west’, as far away as Blackpool, to seek out sex with young boys, including youngsters from the council’s own Knowl View school.
The report describes how police recorded that ’14 children from various children’s homes had been organised into a ring’ and were ‘extracting money for sexual favours’, organised by an ‘older’ boy – of just 13.
Another child of just 11 is described asking a man for 50p for sexual activity.
All the activity was taking place directly opposite the department charged with protecting them.
The Smith Street toilets in Rochdale (1) and the council’s social services department at Rochdale council (2). Children were abused at the toilets in the 1980s despite being visible from the department over the road
“Sexual exploitation of children from (Knowl View) school at Smith Street public toilets was known about by the authorities from at least 1989,” finds the report.
“Indeed, some social services staff could see the toilets from their offices, recognised some of the boys as children in care and were deeply suspicious of what was going on, although there was no apparent follow-up.”
Records of individual children convey a ‘total lack of urgency’ on the part of the authorities to address the problem, however.
“One boy’s file recorded that he had contracted sexually transmitted hepatitis through ‘rent boy’ activities,” says the report.
“We concluded that no-one in authority viewed any of this as an urgent child protection issue. “Rather, boys as young as 11 were not seen as victims, but as authors of their own abuse.”
Police ‘did not turn a blind eye’ to this abuse but were unable to get enough evidence to prosecute, it says.
However there was ‘no satisfactory answer’ as to why they did not charge the men involved, despite knowing the names of perpetrators and having spoken to some of the victims.
Not only was the now-notorious Knowl View school – which was run by the council between 1969 and 1996 – rife with abuse, but even its fabric was not ‘homely, safe, secure, caring or therapeutic’, finds the report, which adds that it also ‘failed in its basic function’ to keep children safe.
Despite widespread abuse within the school by pupils and paedophiles, including known sex offender Rodney Hilton, staff did little or nothing about it, it finds.
In 1990 Hilton managed to get back inside the school – six years after first abusing children there, but staff still did not act.
Even while out on licence a year later he continued to be a ‘malign presence’ there, it finds, yet still ‘little’ was done.
Staff were ‘at best complacent but arguably complicit in the abuse they knew to be taking place and they must take their share of the blame for what was allowed to occur’, says the report.
Meanwhile the council’s handling of appalling abuse at the school – a residential institution for vulnerable youngsters with learning and behavioural difficulties – draws scathing criticism from the inquiry.
It is ‘incredulous’ that Ian Davey, acting director of social services in the late 1980s, did not choose to pursue the child protection issues at the school through formal procedures, including pupils being abused at the Smith Street toilets.
“It was his decision alone; it was inexplicable, professionally indefensible and extremely poor judgment on the part of the most senior social work officer in the council’s employment,” it concludes.
Even when Diana Cavanagh took over his role, there were still major flaws in her handling of the allegations, it finds.
While she disagreed with Davey – by concluding that action did need to be taken – and commissioned an independent review in 1992, before also writing her own, the resulting reports were factually inaccurate and ‘flawed’.
There was ‘no urgency’ in resolving the allegations either, it finds, adding: “Matters were allowed to drift.
“All this occurred on Mrs Cavanagh’s watch, made worse by a feeble board of governors who seemed unable to fulfil their governance responsibilities.
“Regardless of the board of governors, Rochdale council was the provider of the facility and its external manager.”
By 1992, the matter was still drifting, it finds, including under the leadership of Liberal Democrat Paul Rowen, who took over from Coun Farnell in May of that year.
“Mr Rowen bore considerable responsibility for the school as council leader from 1992 to 1996,” it concludes.
“As with Richard Farnell, he was prepared to blame others without acknowledging his own failures of leadership.
“At best, he was insufficiently inquisitive about Knowl View school, despite having knowledge of the serious problems that persisted at the school; at worst, as council leader, he turned a blind eye to these problems and chose to give them low priority.”
It does not make a judgement on whether the former MPs Jim Dobbin and Liz Lynne failed to act on this issue once allegations were raised by the school’s former head of care, Martin Digan, due to conflicting testimonies by those involved.
However it does find that Mr Digan – who has campaigned on the scandal at Knowl View for more than 25 years – did pass on his concerns to the MPs.
Police and prosecutors
The report finds no evidence of any cover-up by any institution, including the police.
In particular the Rochdale police officers who investigated the initial claims about Cyril Smith at Cambridge House hostel in 1970 did a ‘comprehensive’ job and were not swayed by his status, it finds.
All the evidence suggests Lancashire police – under which Rochdale fell at the time – were very keen to prosecute, it notes, to the point where they had even drawn up a timetable for the process.
But their 80-page dossier on Smith was knocked back by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the predecessor to the Crown Prosecution Service, in just three days, it finds.
The inquiry is ‘troubled by the cursory nature of this analysis’, as well as the DPP’s denial to the local paper Rochdale Alternative Press nine years later that a file had ever been passed to them. That may well have helped fuel conspiracy theories ever since, it believes.
However it again concludes that there was no evidence of a cover-up and makes no judgement on whether the DPP was legally correct not to pursue a prosecution.
In the early 1990s it finds the police did investigate the Smith Street abuse, although it is unclear why nobody was charged due to a lack of records. Had a better report been commissioned by the council at the time, the police may have more easily been able to act, it adds.
Later, in the 1990s, allegations of abuse surfaced again and were looked at under Greater Manchester Police ’s Operation Cleopatra.
The inquiry does not direct criticisms at GMP but does find the Crown Prosecution Service wanting.
“A valuable opportunity was lost in 1988 and 1999, not only to charge and to prosecute Smith during his lifetime but also for the complainants to seek justice,” it says.
Nevertheless it was the CPS’s advice, not a ‘cover up’, that caused that failure, it finds.
Ultimately the inquiry is fundamentally about the many victims who were abused in Rochdale between the 1960s and the 1990s, some of whom reported their suffering but were ignored.
Some of them ‘may have been very young indeed’, finds the report, which says that not only were they abused in residential care homes such as Cambridge House and Knowl View themselves, but also ‘targeted on the streets of Rochdale’, which it says was a ‘compelling’ reason to investigate abuse in the town.
Many came forward and gave evidence to the inquiry under anonymity.
The report describes the backgrounds of the teenagers and young men who were offered places at Cambridge House in the mid-1960s, often in unhappy foster placements and wanting an escape, or in one case, having moved down from Glasgow to work in a factory in the town.
One victim describes how Smith simply turned up one day at his home and offered him a place at the hostel – and says he was initially ‘happy’ there, but that things later took a darker turn.
Others experienced abuse straight away.
One boy, who was 16 at the time, was told on his second day to have a bath and go to the ‘quiet room’, where Cyril took off his clothes on the pretext of a ‘nit’ check and molested him.
He ran away the next day.
“But the police were called and someone from Cambridge House came to pick him up,” says the report.
“When he was brought back to Cambridge House he was again taken to see Cyril Smith, who shouted at him and asked him to take his clothes off onces more.”
Smith would later pressure him to withdraw his police allegation, which he refused to do, but he was still never prosecuted before his death in 2010.
The children at Knowl View were vulnerable in a whole range of additional ways, some having autism, others with learning disabilities and mental health problems.
At least two children taken into care at the school in 1989 – both aged 11 – were already known to be engaging in sexual activity at the Smith Street toilets, one of them walking up to a man and asking for 50p in return.
Yet while at Knowl View, matters only got worse.
“Not only did his exploitation continue after [he] was placed at Knowl View, he was also being exploited out of the area,” says the report, describing how he had sex with a man at a house in Salford for £5 six months later.
“We conclude that no individual, not any institution with responsibility for them, took decisive action to address what was happening to these exploited children,” it concludes.
Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell faces vote of no confidence
7 Dec 2017
Next Wednesday opposition councillors will table a motion calling on Coun Farnell to step down until the findings of an inquiry into claims of historic abuse at the former residential school for boys are published
Under-fire Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell is to face a vote of no confidence in protest at his handling of the Knowl View child sex abuse scandal.
Next Wednesday opposition councillors will table a motion calling on Coun Farnell to step down until the findings of an inquiry into claims of historic abuse at the former residential school for boys are published.
The motion, which will be put forward by Rochdale’s Lib Dem leader Coun Andy Kelly, states: “This council has no confidence in the leader of the council and calls for him to step down and resign his position until such time that the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) are made public.”
Rochdale Labour group have accused Kelly of ‘using the tragic events at Knowl View for party political mud-slinging.’
His motion comes after Coun Farnell, who was also leader in the early 90s when much of the abuse was taking place, was criticised after giving evidence at the IICSA.
Coun Farnell repeatedly told October’s hearings, which examined claims Cyril Smith, the former Lib Dem MP for Rochdale, and others abused boys at Knowl View and Cambridge House boys hostel, that he had never heard of any allegations relating to Knowl View until recently, adding: “I am not prepared to accept personal responsibility for… failing to take action in this matter.”
He was repeatedly challenged by Brian Altman QC, who pointed out the director of education, director of social services, education chair and opposition members were all on record as having been aware of the allegations, but Coun Farnell insisted he had never been briefed.
During summing up, barrister Laura Hoyano, counsel on behalf of the victims, said it was ‘inconceivable’ Coun Farnell did not know about the abuse, but, she added, if he did not, he was guilty of ‘wilful blindness’ – pointing to ‘a cover up at the level of the leadership of the borough council’.
As the Lib Dems have just two councillors to Labour’s 48, the motion is not expected to gather enough votes to be passed, but Coun Kelly called on his political rivals to ‘do the right thing’ and support him.
He said: “I would call on Labour councillors to vote with their heart and do the right thing.
“Do they honestly believe that Richard Farnell remaining in position is the right thing for this town? That’s the question they should ask themselves.
“If the inquiry comes back and says Richard Farnell has not done anything wrong I will be the first to hold my hands up and say fair enough, but until that point he should step down.
“This is about justice for the victims of Cyril Smith, and let’s also not forget [Former Lib Dem council leader and MP] Paul Rowen was also on the stand during the inquiry, but neither he nor Cyril Smith are serving councillors.
“I will fully support the outcome of the inquiry, whatever it says, because it is about closure for the people who suffered abuse and about the recognition that the people in power at the time did not do what they were supposed to do. That’s the most important thing.”
But a Rochdale Labour group spokesman said in a statement: “If Coun Kelly gets more than two votes for his motion he will be lucky. Just how low can you get? Trying to use the tragic events at Knowl View for party political mud-slinging is appalling. We should be concerned about the victims and not trying to score nasty political points.
“The Inquiry has examined over 140,000 pages of documents relating to Knowl View. There is not one single report, letter, briefing note or memo addressed to Coun Farnell informing him of the events at Knowl View.
“Coun Kelly is deafeningly silent on the Liberal Democrats’ appalling failure to deal with the allegations of abuse made against Cyril Smith. They knew of the allegation going back almost 40 years. What did they do? Nothing.
“It is interesting that Coun Kelly has nothing to say about the former Lib Dem council leader and MP Paul Rowen’s evidence to the Inquiry.
“And just when are the Liberal Democrats going to apologise to the victims for Smith’s horrific abuse?”
Coun Kelly’s motion comes a week after the secretary of Rochdale Constituency Labour Party resigned in protest at the party’s handling of the scandal.
The findings of the IICSA are expected to be published before April.
Theresa May and Amber Rudd suppress Westminster child abuse documents for national security reasons
November 20, 2017
Labour MP Lisa Nandy just revealed in parliament the embarrassing inconsistencies between Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd over documents being hidden from the inquiry into allegations of child abuse by MP Cyril Smith.
“The Home Secretary told me that some papers would be withheld from the Cyril Smith inquiry for national security reasons,” Nandy told the House of Commons, yet she added: “this week the Prime Minister has written to me to say we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquiries.”
– And she challenged Amber Rudd to confirm “for the survivors of Cyril Smith who have waited for decades” for justice – whether papers on historic allegations of child abuse against Smith will be withheld from inquiries for reasons of national security.
Cyril Smith was a Liberal MP for Rochdale in the 1970’s after Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe – who later resigned amid sexual scandal – insisted the local party have Smith as a candidate even though police had investigated serious allegations of sexual abuse of young boys in care homes in Rochdale where he had been Mayor.
The police investigation was dropped in 1970. Smith died in 2010 and two years later the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that he would have faced prosecution for allegations of child abuse where he still alive with allegations that had surfaced since.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse last month heard how Smith was a governor at several schools in Rochdale, including Knowl View, where one abuse survivor attended as a boy when Smith was governor. He gave horrific testimony of a rape by Smith.
The inquiry is investigating historic abuse in Rochdale schools and care homes and heard how police had warned that Smith had “used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility.”
The inquiry was provided evidence by MI5 that the security service had been aware at the time that the Director of Public Prosecutions had lied to journalists about not charging the MP, saying a case hadn’t been referred to them. MI5 appear to have not pursued this serious allegation as their role was “to defend the realm”, the inquiry heard.
A police report into Smith when he stood for election in 1970 read: “he has used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility.”
The inquiry also heard that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have been likely to be aware of the allegations against Cyril Smith when she awarded him a knighthood in 1988.
Lead counsel Brian Altman QC told the inquiry: “It is important to bear in mind the extent to which Cyril Smith continued to involve himself in serious issues related to the welfare of children. A knighthood would only have reinforced Smith’s veneer of respectability and power.”
Government papers relating to Cyril Smith will not be withheld, PM pledges
Prime Minister Theresa May has given assurances to an MP that Government papers relating to the late Cyril Smith will not be withheld.
Former shadow minister Lisa Nandy told the Commons that she had received a letter from the Prime Minister which stated the “work of the security services will not prevent information being shared”.
The letter prompted Ms Nandy to ask Home Secretary Amber Rudd whether she had been wrong to assert last month that some papers would be held back “under national security”.
The Wigan MP said: “Last month in this House the Home Secretary told me that some papers would be withheld from the Cyril Smith inquiry for national security reasons.
“This week the Prime Minister has written to me to say we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquires.
“So can she can confirm to the survivors of Cyril Smith (pictured) who have waited for justice for decades that she was wrong and that the Prime Minister is right?”
Ms Rudd replied: “Well I am happy to confirm the Prime Minister is always right and I will certainly look carefully at the letter that she has received to ensure that we comply with it.”
Smith, who was an MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, is accused of sexually abusing a number of boys.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has heard evidence of the abuse and will publish its findings next year.
In her letter to Ms Nandy, the Prime Minister said: “As with the Government’s co-operation with the investigation into allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in the 1970s, we are clear that the work of the security services will not prevent information being shared with other such inquires.
“Material relating to the allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home was disclosed to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry team in full.
“To assist with disclosure, a memorandum of understanding was established between the inquiry team, government departments and security services with regards to viewing and securing potentially relevant material.
“If material was identified as relevant to the inquiry, government department and security services would consider it for public disclosure, in line with UK Government disclosure obligations.”
Claims council leader knew about Knowl View child abuse allegations in early 90s – inquiry told
25 Oct 2017
Leader Richard Farnell told the inquiry yesterday he only heard about allegations relating to Knowl View ‘two or three years ago’
Claims Rochdale’s council leader has known about the Knowl View boys scandal since 1992 were reported to the Labour Party three years ago – but they did nothing to investigate – an inquiry has told.
Richard Farnell – who is both the current leader and was also in charge of the town hall between 1986 and 1992 – was also accused of ‘not telling the truth’ by a fellow councillor in the latest explosive hearing of evidence relating to the scandal.
Yesterday the leader had told the inquiry he only heard about allegations relating to the notorious school, at which boys were abused throughout the 1980s and 1990s, ‘two or three years ago’ when they were raised in parliament.
But this morning his fellow Rochdale Labour councillor Peter Joinson told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that the leader would have ‘automatically’ known what was going on at the time.
He also said Coun Farnell had admitted to him in 2014 that he had known about the allegations as far back as 1992 – a claim Coun Farnell says is a ‘lie’.
However Coun Joinson said he was sufficiently concerned to have reported their conversation to the regional party.
Those concerns were bounced to the party’s headquarters, he said, passed back to the regional office and then eventually put on hold, because by that point the police were investigating.
This morning’s meeting of the national inquiry – which is currently looking at abuse in Rochdale institutions between the 1960s and 1990s – follows yesterday’s evidence from Coun Farnell himself, in which he repeatedly insisted no senior officer or political colleague had ever told him about abuse taking place at the school.
But Coun Joinson claimed that at a meeting in 2014, when he himself was still chief whip, the council leader had admitted to having seen a draft report into the scandal at some point between March and June 1992.
Following that conversation – shortly after Coun Farnell had told the media he had never been aware of the allegations at the time – Coun Joinson says he raised concerns with the then deputy leader, Coun Peter Williams.
He then raised it with the regional office of the Labour party.
“I felt there was a conflict between what was in the press and the information he’d offered to me,” he said.
“There was a clear difference. As a consequence I sought advice from the regional director of the Labour Party because I felt at that point, because he was council leader, the people who should do the investigation were in fact the people from the regional party.”
Asked what happened next, he said the complaint bounced backwards and forward before being left to the police to follow up as part of their own child abuse inquiry, Operation Clifton.
“I spoke to the regional director,” he said.
“She referred me to a further senior officer in the Labour party in London. I had a discussion with them. They referred me back to the regional director.
“By that time Operation Clifton was going on and the comment of the regional director is ‘we will have to let the police investigation take its course’.
Coun Farnell told the inquiry yesterday that Coun Joinson had made up the conversation about Knowl View, arguing it was a ‘smear’ and the result of an internal civil war raging at the time.
Under questioning by Brian Altman QC, the councillor was asked: “Did you invent any of this, Mr Joinson?”
He replied: “I did not.”
Mr Altman then asked him: “Which means Richard Farnell lied to this inquiry?”
Coun Joinson replied: “I don’t like using that word, but he’s probably not telling the truth.”
Yesterday Coun Farnell told the inquiry repeatedly that at no point had any senior officer or political colleague told him of the emerging allegations around Knowl View at the time.
That included his chair of education, the late Mary Moffat, who he said had not breathed ‘a word’ of the claims to him.
However Coun Joinson suggested that claim was not credible.
“Up to 2004 I held senior positions as a councillor,” he said.
“I was chair of education, then I moved on to be the deputy leader. I was responsible for human resources, finance. It would have been common practice for the chief executive or any chief officer to discuss any area of massive concern with the appropriate member of the council or chair of that committee.
“For me, as chair of education at the time, if that was part of my portfolio I would have automatically gone to the leader of the council.”
When asked whether that would have also been the case during the 1990s, he said: “Yes.”
Cyril Smith Cyril Smith was born in 1928 and became active in local politics in his teens. He promoted himself as working tirelessly for the welfare of deprived boys. Suspicions of child abuse began in the 1950s. In 1956 he bought St Mary’s Gate newsagent and tobacconist. In the late 1950s, according to Mike Smith of the CID, this was put under police surveillance because of concerns about the number of young boys seen going in through the back door. Specific complaints began in 1961: for instance, he supported a boy to have singing lessons, groomed and sexually abused him. Why were these leads not followed up?
Smith gradually developed connections with paedophiles both locally and elsewhere in the country. Without these connections, and without sympathisers protecting him on a large scale, he would not have been able to offend as he did. One notable connection was with his later friend Jimmy Savile, born in 1926. Savile similarly presented himself as a dedicated fund raiser for charity. He volunteered at Broadmoor from his early 20s, and as a porter in other hospitals. The first complaint of abuse against him came in 1955, at a Manchester dance hall he managed. Some abuse is recorded from 1960, for example with autograph hunters being taken into hotels and abused. Just as Smith’s abusing can be traced over the next decades, so too there are records of complaints about Savile at the BBC, at Leeds general infirmary, and at Stoke Mandeville hospital.
Smith and Savile continued to live parallel lives as predatory paedophiles for half a century, both becoming well-known members of the establishment and escaping public disclosure and judicial convictions during their lives. However, once their behaviour began coming out in 2012, after their deaths, the offending of Savile, the media figure, led to the establishment of five separate inquiries, most notably Operation Yewtree. Other media figures began to be effectively followed up. But in the case of Smith, the high-level politician, all investigations have been so far resisted, just as they have been for other politicians who have been implicated.
Thanks to the public reaction to all this, one strand of IICSA, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, is assigned to Rochdale. We are not powerless. They govern by consent, and when ordinary protest is wide enough, they back down, at least until they think we have forgotten.
Like Smith and Savile, once he surmounted initial setbacks, Righton thrived as a predatory paedophile within the establishment.
Like Righton and Savile, Smith organised access to institutions with children whom he could abuse with relative impunity, first at Cambridge House and Moorland Home, and later at Knowl View School. He maintained a power base on the local council,
Peter Righton, another paedophile born in 1926, also became a close friend of Smith, and like him and Savile rose high in the establishment.
Smith escaped prosecution through corrupt pressure from friends on the council and senior police officers, and later from the British political establishment, who used the security services to steal files and cover up any charges by claiming ‘national security’. This is part of what we hope IICSA will investigate. Smith escaped prosecution through corrupt pressure from friends on the council and senior police officers, and later from the British political establishment, who used the security services to steal files and cover up any charges by claiming ‘national security’. This is part of what we hope IICSA will investigate.
Despite hostile reporting in the alternative press, an increasing tide of critical reports from local professionals, renewed police investigations, and referrals to the DPP, the director of public prosecutions, Smith was knighted in 1988, recommended by David Steel. Questions about this recommendation were covered up for some time, but the fact was forced out under an FOI request in January 2014
In 1972 Smith became the MP for Rochdale. Without the intervention of the DPP Norman Skelhorn, empowered by the long term AG Michael Havers, to protect Smith, this could not have happened. The prosecution would have gone ahead, he would almost certainly have gone to jail, and he would have had a criminal record. His power in the community would have been curbed, and decades of abuse might have been prevented. Instead, for the next twenty years Smith operated with impunity under establishment protection
Another official who culpably failed to do anything was John Pierce, the chief executive of Rochdale council. He has gone on record as claiming he knew nothing about the three separate reports in 1988, 1991 and 1992 that paedophiles were abusing children as young as eight years of age. Yet Pierce was sent copies and Paul Rowen, who was leader of the council in 1992, said he had a number of meetings with Pierce in which the abuse at Knowl View was discussed. Shepherd’s report then appears to have been buried. It was certainly withheld from DS Bob Huntbach when he was assigned to carry out a police investigation in 2000, and asked for all the papers.
Rochdale’s council leader was subjected to an excruciating grilling at the child sexual abuse inquiry this morning:
Councillor Richard Farnell gave evidence about what he knew about horrific abuse at Knowl View boys’ school during the 1980s and 1990s
…grilling from the government’s national inquiry on child abuse today – over what he knew about horrendous abuse at Knowl View boys’ school during the 1980s and 1990s.
Coun Farnell was also leader of the council between 1986 and 1992, when horrific rapes and sexual assaults – including by paedophile Roderick Hilton, who managed to enter the school in September 1990 – were taking place.
In today’s hearing Coun Farnell repeatedly denied ever having been informed about abuse at Knowl View at the time, despite senior officers having commissioned a damning report into the welfare of boys there in early 1992.
He never read about Roderick Hilton’s crimes in the local paper, he said, despite another witness – former Liberal Democrat politician Paul Rowen – previously testifying that it had been reported in the Rochdale Observer.
Here is part of an exchange between Coun Farnell and Brian Altman QC, who pointed out that in the early 1990s the town’s infamous satanic abuse scandal had already severely embarrassed the council.
BA: You will remember that pretty well, Mr Farnell?
BA: That led to a pretty bad publicity for the council, yes?
RF: Yes, I think that would be a fair assessment.
BA: And not only politically embarrassing for Labour, but those with whom you worked were politically sufficiently astute to have realised that?
RF: Yes, I would say so, yes.
BA: So what did she [Mary Moffat] tell you about Knowl View?
RF: I have no recollection of Mary Moffat raising Knowl View with me.
BA: So Mary Moffat was – for a short period of time during your leadership – your deputy, who was throughout the whole period of time of your leadership the education chair. You say you have got no recollection at all of her ever raising Knowl View with you?
RF: I have no recollection whatsover.
about Hilton’s activities in the last three years.
Neither were emerging worries over abuse of boys in the school ever raised with him by his chair of education Mary Moffat – who for a short period was also his deputy – or by his director of education, director of social services, chief executive or any Tory opposition councillors, he said.
BA: When you say, Mr Farnell, ‘I Richard Farnell have no recollection whatsoever’ what does that really mean?
RF: I do not recollect Mary Moffat mentioning to me any issue concerned with Knowl View. If she’d raised it I wouldn’t have forgotten.
BA: So what you are really telling us is she never did.
RF: Yes. Yes I’m saying that.
BA: So Mary Moffat, in all the years we know there were problems at Knowl View, not a word?
RF: Not a word.
BA: So she left you, your erstwhile deputy and education chair, completely and utterly exposed as Labour leader of the council, to a scandal at Knowl View? Is that what you are telling us?
RF: What I’m saying is Mary Moffat’s style wasn’t to come running to me every five minutes with problems within the department. She was a formidable politician in her own right. She got on with the job and she was confident in her own ability to deal with the issues that were put before her.
BA: But just think what you are saying, Mr Farnell. You are the leader. She was the education chair. And however formidable she was, any astute education chair would not leave the leader un-sighted by the kind of issues this inquiry has heard about going on at Knowl View between 1989 and the time you lost your seat on the council in May 1992. Is that what you are seriously telling the inquiry? She never brought it to your attention?
RF: She never brought it to my attention.
BA: And nor did anyone else?
BA: Not any single chair of any single committee who sat on your ‘chair’ panel?
BA: Not your chief executive John Pearce? Not the borough solicitor?
BA: So you were completely and utterly oblivious to what was going on at Knowl View for all those years?
RF: All those people you have mentioned did not bring that to my attention.
BA: Did anybody else, Mr Farnell?
BA: Is that the reality, do you think?
RF: It’s what happened in Knowl View.
BA: Is it the truth?
RF: It is the truth.
The leader of Rochdale Council has told an inquiry he had no knowledge of the sexual abuse of children at a residential school in the town despite mounting evidence in the early 1990s.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining how the late MP Cyril Smith and others were able to target youngsters at institutions in Rochdale over several decades.
It has heard how senior council staff knew about serious allegations of sexual abuse involving children at Knowl View School by the early 1990s.
But Richard Farnell, who regained the position of Labour council leader in 2014 after a gap of 22 years, told the inquiry he was never informed of the scandal during his first stint in office between 1986 and 1992.
The inquiry heard that a paedophile had been admitted to Knowl View in September 1990, where he had sexually abused at least one boy.
The council’s education chairwoman, Mary Moffat, knew about the incident but Mr Farnell insisted the information was not passed on to him.
Brian Altman QC, lead counsel for the inquiry, suggested the idea he had not been told by his political colleague was “ridiculous”.
The inquiry heard that by April 1991, the council was also dealing with the sexual exploitation of Knowl View boys at the town’s Smith Street toilets as well as an “epidemic” of “peer on peer” abuse at the school.
A report submitted on March 20 that year from a worker from the Rochdale health authority detailed claims that boys as young as eight were being targeted by men from as far afield as Sheffield.
It said most people would be “horrified” by the allegations, which had the potential to become a “public scandal”.
Mr Altman asked the council leader: “You knew absolutely nothing at that time of the scandalous nature of what was going on in Knowl View?”
Another report on Knowl View was submitted in February 1992, while Mr Farnell was still in office, but the politician denied he had been shown it at the time.
Mr Altman asked: “You were still completely and utterly ignorant of the problems in Knowl View?”
Mr Farnell replied: “I was unaware of the problems at Knowl View.”
I am not the only regional journalist to find a remarkable absence of reporting of #RochdaleCSA from @InquiryCSA in the national media.
24 Oct 2017
hearing evidence from Vince Hill, a former @GMPolice officer who was part of Operation Cleopatra in late 90’s looking into #CSA.
As part of Cleopatra, Mr Hill was handed a police investigations file from a 1970 investigation into #RochdaleCSA and Cyril Smith.
Vince Hill says 11 lines of recommendations at the end of his report into #RochdaleCSA were scribbled over and then omitted from final copy
“My own view is that a further investigation would be merited, now … sooner rather than later in order to show the police to be acting.”
Who removed Vince Hills last paragraphs from his @GMPolice review of #RochdaleCSA that recommended a further investigation?
We’re now hearing read evidence from officer who claims Mr Hills claims are not possible and that all @GMPolice entries were typed directly.
We’ve now had some clarity – Vince Hill’s letter recommending investigation was in an advice file sent to CPS.
Lawyer representing victims of Knowl View abuse calls for council leader Richard Farnell to stand down
The last week has seen senior local figures from Labour and the Liberal Democrats give evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
The lawyer representing victims of Rochdale’s Knowl View abuse scandal has called for council leader Richard Farnell to stand down in the wake of his evidence to the national child abuse inquiry.
Richard Scorer, who is suing the town hall on behalf of eight abuse victims, has called for a ‘new generation’ of politicians to take the reins in Rochdale.
The last week has seen senior local figures from Labour and the Liberal Democrats give evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse about abuse scandals at Knowl View school and Cambridge House boys’ hostel.
At his hearing Coun Farnell – who was also in charge between 1986 and 1992, when much of the abuse at Knowl View was taking place – refused to take personal responsibility for the scandal.
He denied knowing about it at the time and blamed senior officers for not informing him, saying he had only become aware of the allegations ‘two or three years ago’.
Mr Scorer, of the Manchester-based firm Slater and Gordon, said his clients were ‘astonished’ and ‘dismayed’ that Coun Farnell said he was unaware of the abuse.
“The victims feel that he isn’t fit to be leader of the council now”, he added.
Former pupils at Knowl View school, which closed in 1995, say they were subjected to horrendous abuse during the 1980s and 1990s.
But Coun Farnell told the inquiry on Tuesday that although the director of education, director of social services, chief executive, Labour education chair and Tory health authority chair had all known about emerging allegations when he was first leader, they had never informed him at the time.
He also denied admitting to fellow Rochdale Labour councillor Peter Joinson in 2014 that he had in fact known.
On Wednesday Coun Joinson was called to give evidence himself and reiterated his allegation.
He said Coun Farnell – during a private conversation that he had later reported both to the regional Labour party and subsequently to the police – had admitted to having known about the scandal in 1992, including to having seen a draft report into the allegations at the time.
Mr Scorer says both Labour and the Liberal Democrats emerge badly from a ‘shabby tale’.
Last week Lib Dem Paul Rowen, who ran the council after Coun Farnell between 1992 and 1996 – and was later the town’s MP – told the inquiry he had been unaware of the scale of the problems at Knowl View until later.
He had not read papers on the subject offered to him by officers when he took up office in May 1992 because he was too busy, he said, adding that he would have expected officers or political colleagues to have made him aware if there were serious ongoing concerns.
When appointing Cyril Smith as a governor in 1994 he had not recalled that sexual abuse allegations had already been made against him 15 years earlier, he said.
“I had no reason to doubt his integrity or his honesty at that particular time,” he said, adding that he had not heard any ‘rumours’ about him either.
Cyril Smith was Rochdale’s Liberal MP for 20 years. After his death allegations emerged that he had abused boys at both Knowl View and Cambridge House, a boys’ hostel that closed in the 1970s, for years.
“Neither the Liberal Democrat nor Labour parties come well out of this shabby tale,” Mr Scorer said. “Both parties need to change. The victims are dismayed at the evidence from politicians during this hearing.
“They feel strongly that Rochdale needs a new generation of political leaders who can tackle these problems effectively.”
Hearings into exploitation of boys at Knowl View School. What did @Richardfarnell1 know & do as leader?
“I have no recollection of Mary Moffatt raising Knowl View with me … no recollection whatsoever.”
QC: “You were completely and utterly oblivious to what was going on at Knowl View over the years?” RF: “No one.”
“The idea that you never knew about it and was never told is just ridiculous, isn’t it?” “That’s your view.”
It does appear form the evidence being put to @Richardfarnell1 that just about every senior official at the council knew about Rochdale CSA
“I was unaware of those incidents because (they) had failed to inform me of those incidents.”@Richardfarnell1@InquiryCSA
Others who have given evidence from Rochdale say they were aware of Roderick Hilton and his abuse at Knowl View residential school.
Farnell was in charge during ‘Middleton cases 1991’ – satanic accusations. Farnell has denied anything scandalous during his tenure
Despite saying he cannot remember there is the issue of 20 children who were wrongly taken into care after false “Satanic” allegations.
Many, many people at #Rochdale council have known about #CSA of boys at KVS for many, many years. But not their leader @Richardfarnell1
Brian AltmanQC is now showing @Richardfarnell1 a copy of a note form meeting from April 4th 1991
The note appears to show a report of the meeting went to Councillor Farnell. Diana Cavanagh says she was certain he was “informed.”
RF: “I’ve not seen any copy of the minutes of that meeting … certainly the director of education did not speak to me.”
BA: What you mean is that it was never brought to your attention RF: It was never brought to my attention, yes.
We’re now being shown a cutting from Rochdale Online from June 2014 where RF described the use of Knowl View as a “political football.”
Mr Altman is “struggling to understand” what @Richardfarnell1 is saying. RF: I have no recollection of being told about these events.
Going over HiV Report prepared into the risks pupils at KVS faced. An 11yr old had already contracted Hep through sex.
“Parents of children at the school would be horrified” if they knew. BA: A public scandal was the last thing you needed in 1991, wasn’t it?
This was a couple of weeks after the High Court judgement following the false Satanic Abuse allegations.
BA: Are you still saying you knew absolutely nothing RF: In order for me to know I would have to have been told
.. in the end, Mary Moffat who was your dep and ed chair, she was bound to have told you, wasn’t she?
RF: That’s your suggestion. She did not raise it with me.
BA: Not one of the breathed a word throughout your whole period of leadership RF: It was for them to tell me and they did not.
BA: Mr Farnell, you are not being realistic.
BA: Even in Feb 92 you were still completely and utterly ignorant of the problems at Knowl View RF: I was unaware of the problems.
We’re back to March 1992 and the presentation of the Val Mellor report in #RochdaleCSA against boys at Knowl View School.We’re back to March 1992 and the presentation of the Val Mellor report in #RochdaleCSA against boys at Knowl View School.
All main political parties Education Spokespeople were present at the meeting in March 1992. But @Richardfarnell1 says he was never told.
Mr Farnell says electioneering became such a priority that no one would have had the opportunity to raise the issue of #RochdaleCSA with him
Mr Altman has pointed out that other senior officials seem to have had the time to meet and discuss #RochdaleCSA when Mr Farnell did not.
We’re now being shown a council memorandum from May 1992 asking for a statement of action that has been taken “so I may advise the leader.”
This memorandum is from the Chief Executive, Mr Pearce, at #Rochdale. Soon after Mr Farnell lost his seat.
Mr Altman is putting a series of allegations about Mr Farnell’s character that he “bullied and browbeat people” “Interfered inappropriately”
RF: Definitely not, no. Mr Farnell has batted away criticism of his alleged “hands-on” management style at #Rochdale Council
We’re now onto the dealings – direct or otherwise – he may have had with Cyril Smith. What was his reputation? A larger than life figure
BA: Did you hear any of the rumours about his sexual involvement with young boys? RF: He was alleged to have spanked boys …
RF: Cyril Smith was investigated at the time but nothing was done with it … it had been investigated but nothing came of it.
BA: Was there ever a pack between the Labour and Liberal parties? (to not disclose abuse) RF: The idea of a pact – absolute nonsense.
RF: I’m not sure what there was to cover up.
Now discussing type written note from the Chief Whip in Rochdale who spoke with @Richardfarnell1 over what he did and didn’t know
The note says; “at the end of the meeting I raised the issue of press articles that questioned Mr Farnell’s knowledge of the KVS report.”
The notes form the meeting say Mr Farnell received a draft copy of the report into HiV risks. BA: He’s made all that up?
The notes says “Councillor Farnell says he’s only seen a draft report” BA: Those are words put in your mouth. Completely untrue? RF: Yes.
BA: This meeting with you is utterly invented? RF: Yes Mr Farnell say the Joinson note is an illustration of how “nasty” politics was.
RF: This is a complete invention to try to politically damage me and undermine me as the new leader.
If it was an illustration of civil war and bad blood in the #Labour group in #Rochdale the BA says it was never used. RF: He’s lying.
BA: Either he’s lying or you are lying RF: it is certainly my contention that he is lying
BA: Several boys went through that school and their lives were blighted. Presumably you will accept responsibility for that as leader?
RF: I bitterly regret the senior members of the council never approached me about these matters. They never did.
Head of Ed – Diana Cavanagh, Social Services – Ian Davey, Chief Exec – John Pearce “they are the people who should shoulder responsibility”
BA: You are not prepared to accept personal responsibility for this? RF: For me to have taken action I would have had to have been informed
25 Oct 2017 – IICSA – hearing from former Labour Chief Whip Peter Joinson
Peter Joinson has been called to th InquiryCSA into Rochdale CSA He claims Richarf Farnell told him in 1992 that he’d seen a draft CSA report.
MrJoinson says he doesn’t like the word “liar” and would prefer to say “Richard Farnell didn’t tell the truth”
Rochdale Council leader accuses colleague of lying over abuse claims
A note of a meeting on June 11 that year made by Peter Joinson, the Labour group’s chief whip at the time, read: “At the end of the meeting I raised with the leader the issues of press articles that questioned his knowledge of the Knowl View abuse reports.” The note, handed to police in October 2014, made reference to a report from a sexual health worker employed by the Rochdale health authority. “As a consequence of that report the council was preparing a report, this was between approx March and June 1992,” it continued. “Cllr Farnell said he had only seen a draft report and the full report wasn’t complete until June. By that time he had lost his council seat and ceased to be council leader.” Mr Altman said Mr Joinson was questioned by police about the note in April 2016. “He (Mr Joinson) said you told him there were allegations of sexual abuse in the draft report you had seen,” said the barrister. Mr Farnell said: “No.” Mr Altman continued: “So Mr Joinson completely and utterly invented the content of this meeting with you on June 11?” “Absolutely, yes.” Mr Farnell replied. The council leader suggested Mr Joinson made up the content of the conversation as part of a “bitter election campaign”, which he described as a “civil war within the party”. “Either he’s lying, or you’re lying,” said Mr Altman. Mr Farnell replied: “It’s certainly my contention that he’s lying.”
War of words between Labour colleagues Richard Farnell and Peter Joinson over knowledge of Knowl View sex abuse report escalates
26 October 2017
“I am disappointed that Councillor Farnell is denying a meeting had taken place and, more importantly, to use this to further obfuscate the main issue that he had offered to me the information that he had seen a draft report.
“There should not be any issue for Councillor Farnell here, he had seen a draft report, lost his seat and therefore the leadership of the Council. The responsibility for taking this issue further was therefore in the hands of Councillor [Paul] Rowen who had taken up the position of council leader and not Councillor Farnell. That is all he had to say in any press release he gave in June 2014 prior to our meeting and this particular part of the wider issue would not have occurred.”
Priceless – Richard Farnell – brands calls for his resignation “appalling political mud-slinging” then slings the political mud himself:
Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council, has hit back following the call for his resignation by Councillor Andy Kelly, Leader of the Borough’s Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Kelly has called for the “immediate resignation” of Councillor Farnell “as both leader of Rochdale Council and as councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt” over Councillor Farnell’s evidence to the government’s national inquiry on child abuse.
“Kelly is deafeningly silent on the Liberal Democrats’ appalling failure to deal with the allegations of abuse made against Cyril Smith. They knew of the allegations going back almost 40 years when it was exposed in the RAP article in 1979. What did they do? Nothing.
“It is interesting that Kelly has nothing to say about the former Lib Dem council leader and MP Paul Rowen’s evidence to the Inquiry. He was told about the abuse at Knowl View and refused to meet officers to discuss it, stating he was too busy.
“And just when are the Liberal Democrats going to apologise to the victims for Smith’s horrific abuse?
“Just when is Councillor Kelly going to apologise for the decision of the Lib Dem council who – despite knowing of allegations of abuse carried out by Cyril Smith – unbelievably put him on the governing body of Knowl View school?
Sir Cyril Smith with MP Paul Rowen and Rochdale Childer chairwoman Maureen Cooper
SIR Cyril Smith’s 80th birthday party raised almost £4,000 for charity.
Proceeds from the gala concert, featuring Jimmy Cricket and the Debrose Choir at the Town Hall in June, will be donated to Rochdale Childer, a charity which helps children in the borough.
He said: “The fact that we raised so much money for such a worthwhile cause was tremendous. As a founder of Rochdale Childer, I know the excellent job that they do for some of the most vulnerable young people in Rochdale.
MP Paul Rowen added: “Sir Cyril had a great night and we raised much more than we had anticipated. We are working with the Rochdale Childer team looking at a number of options of how to spend this windfall.”
Maureen Cooper, chairwoman of Rochdale Childer, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sir Cyril’s big bash raised so much money. I can solemnly declare that not a penny will be wasted.
THE big man celebrated his birthday with a big party on Saturday night.
MP Paul Rowen opened the gala concert by introducing a video montage of tributes from political colleagues and celebrity friends, including Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Paddy Ashdown, Lord David Steel, Coronation Street star William Roache and comedian Jim Bowen, before guests joined in a sing-a-long of his adopted theme tune.
Sir Cyril was as straight-talking as ever during his speech as he praised Mr Rowen,
Council leader Alan Taylor thanked Cyril for being ‘a great inspiration and teacher’.
Alan was of course the olden days Hennigan type character. Cyril Smith’s agent. Party to all the party intrigue. And still sitting pretty. Perhaps young Alan was Cyril’s favoured candidate when Rowen stole the crown? Seen here Alan is barefoot, as is the Rochdale Lib Dem wont even today, as the Rochdale Alternative Paper’s 1975 “playmate of the Century” or something like that.
Born in Rochdale, Rowenwent to the Bishop Henshaw RC Memorial High School (became St Cuthbert’s RC High School in 1989 when Rochdale scrapped its three-tier system) on Shaw Road in Rochdale. From the University of Nottingham, he graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and Geology in 1976. From 1977-80, he taught Science at Kimberley School in Nottinghamshire. From 1980-6, he was Head of Chemistry at St Albans RC High School, Warren Lane in Oldham (now closed), then Head of Science at Our Ladys RC High School from 1986-90. From 1990-2005, he was Deputy Headteacher of Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College on Westgate Hill Street in Tong, West Yorkshire.
Disgraced RE teacher found with 200 indecent images of children can continue teaching after Michael Gove gives go-ahead
Bettley, who joined St Mary’s in September 2001 from Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic School in Bradford, West Yorkshire,
By the time police seized his computer in December last year, he had viewed 143 images, assessed to be on the lowest “level one” on the scale for seriousness.
He downloaded another 46 more serious “level three” images, including scenes of child abuse, but they had not been viewed.
Instead of being taken to court, however, he was given the option of accepting a police caution.
Paul Rowen WBro David Action who is also inevitably a big wheel in the local Rotary Club as well as one of the Rochdale Chapters of the hell’s Angels Freemasons – hence the strange handshake. I believe he is Mr Big in beds. Meanwhile a Mr Mason is Mr Big in used cars. Both are long time associates of Paul Rowen for his charidee activity – mainly to do with orphanages in East Africa.
Paul is in Keen-ya. Apparently sunning himself whilst doing charidee work at children’s homes.
Does anyone picture portly Paul Rowen in a pith helmet whilst on a colonial verandah, G&T in hand? The Happy Valley of Kenya has a reputation for “fun and games”. Were table tennis paddles packed in Paul’s trunk? Or will Rochdale’s current MP be too busy having slap up meals at various african Rotary clubs?
Will he be planning a trip to the bush? Is he popping over to Uganda to conduct some business in his second paid job working for a property company called Corinya?
So how do young Rochdale people become Parliamentary interns for Paul Rowen. Unlike Hazard County, surely this is not a “job for the boys”?
“I’ve been very lucky over the last few months to have had a number of young people from Rochdale working as interns in both my London office and in Rochdale. These have included Natassa Malik whose father is a good friend of Sir Cyril Smith
Hancock has been the chairman of the southern region of the NSPCC since 1989
Savile, Hancock, Bonner Pink. Emery Wallis, connected friends , also Ted Heath, and more. add Peter Ball into this mix, you have a flaming disgusting group
Did you know ex MP Hancock worked for childrens TV at BBC, on same corridor as Savile. Hancock and Savile also friends, and Bonner Pink!
5 June 1990
Leaders of some of the 19 councils that are fighting a poll-tax capping order line up outside the High Court. (l-r) Richard Farnell (Rochdale), Marie Rimmer (St Helens), Peter Ballard (Basildon), Joan Twelves (Lambeth), Sir Jack Layden (Rotherham), Margaret Hodge (Islington),Jim Dobbin (Rochdale, deputy), and Mike Goodman (Hammersmith).
Any Knowl View cover-up may also involve 1990s NW Labour personnel
…the Manchester Evening News carried a story claiming that the disgraced, deceased Liberal MP Cyril blackmailed an unnamed council leader into covering up Smith’s actions by threatening to reveal an incident of abuse by the council leader against a child in a public toilet.
Over a month ago, in early September when the issue of child abuse at Knowl View home in Rochdale started to hit the news again because of its inclusion in the public inquiry into child sexual abuse, whistleblowers contacted the SKWAWKBOX with a number of allegations.
The first was that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had stated that it would be making a ‘full disclosure’ of all evidence it had gathered in its investigation of events at Knowl View.
The second was that part of that disclosure would be that the leader of Rochdale Council had information about the abuse – and had kept it quiet. The person – a councillor – who knew he had received this information had, allegedly, subsequently been removed from all positions of responsibility by the council leader.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted Rochdale Council’s leader’s office and asked whether these claims were true. We were told – via a press officer – that the council leader absolutely denied them and would not be discussing them further.
The councillor said to have direct knowledge of events declined to take our calls. GMP was asked whether the information would be included in its disclosure – but its reply was essentially non-responsive:
Op Clifton report will be heard in full at the IICSA hearing in London in mid-October. You would need to ask IICSA as it is their inquiry.
IICSA had not yet heard the evidence, so this was a dead end. In the absence of options to corroborate the claims, there was no option but to shelve them and wait for developments.
Those developments have now begun.
Last week, evidence was given to the inquiry that matched the reports given to the SKWAWKBOX more than a month earlier. The comments began on the first day that evidence was taken, as the transcript of the session shows:
Despite its closure over two decades ago, Knowl View has continued to resurface, provoking concerns that investigations into what happened were deliberately concealed. It has been suggested that the local politicians were party to this and to suppressing allegations about Smith, regardless of their political allegiances. There has been rumour and speculation about some form of deal/pact between local political parties not to make allegations about Cyril Smith. We will call some of those politicians in the final week of the hearings so they can be asked more about that.
ITV news correspondent Matt O’Donoghue tweeted about it three days later, as claims were detailed:
He then asked council leader Richard Farnell:
A day later, the inquiry spoke to the then-head (in 1992) of social services about events at the time. That witness alleged not merely silence but interference:
Q: You made a distinction in your statement about inappropriate interference in departmental matters between Smith, on the one hand, and the then-leader of the council, Richard Farnell.
Q. The distinction you made was that Cyril Smith interfered on a sort of granular level, in the cases of individuals, whereas Farnell was perhaps more to the sort of generalised approach to his interference.
Yesterday, the Manchester Evening News carried a story claiming that the disgraced, deceased Liberal MP Cyril blackmailed an unnamed council leader into covering up Smith’s actions by threatening to reveal an incident of abuse by the council leader against a child in a public toilet.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted Rochdale Council’s press office again today with the following:
In early September I called you about allegations that Richard Farnell knew about abuse at Knowl View and did not act. You told me he had absolutely denied it.
In view of the evidence coming out at the public inquiry about a council leader covering up information and indeed being involved in at least one act of abuse, do you wish to revise that position?
The response this time was different:
The Head of Communications subsequently emailed to add:
And just to reiterate.. the leader maintains his denial
Labour’s HQ did not cover itself in glory in its handling of this blog’s enquiry, either. We wrote to the party at the same time as to the council and the police, detailing the information received, including the name of a councillor who alleged that Mr Farnell had told him privately that he had ignored a report on the abuse at Knowl View when the institution was still open.
The same councillor also claimed that he had informed Labour’s North-West regional office about that conversation – but that the report had been ‘buried’.
We asked Labour HQ the following questions:
Did ________ make such a report?
If so, what if any action did Labour take?
_________ used to be Rochdale Labour Group Whip, but says that Richard Farnell has since removed him from all positions. Why?
Labour HQ failed to respond until the SKWAWKBOX sent a follow-up email advising that we were about to publish an article on the matter and telling the party to provide any comments quickly if they wished to have the information included in the article.
We received a statement in reply that contained answers to none of the questions asked over a month ago:
The Labour Party is fully co-operating with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
The allegations against Richard Farnell were put into the public domain by the IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) session transcripts and subsequently by the mainstream media.
They remain allegations only and the SKWAWKBOX does not claim that they are accurate, but their existence is indisputably of overwhelming public interest. There is no evidence so far to indicate that Mr Farnell is the unnamed council leader in the Manchester Evening News article and his continuing denial of cover-up allegations should of course be recognised by all, unless and until the allegations are proven in a court of law, should a case ensue.
However, should the police decide they merit investigation, officers should also be talking to people who worked in Labour’s north-west office at the time, because any cover-up is alleged to have extended there as well.
Alarm over sexual activities at a Rochdale council home has taken years to emerge.
9 September 1995
THEY were boys aged eight to 16 with learning difficulties, and what they needed from Knowl View special school in Rochdale was care. What they got, according to Phil Shepherd, a council HIV-prevention officer, was the risk of Aids.
Mr Shepherd was horrified by the situation he discovered when he made a sex-education day visit to the residential school in March 1991. In a report he made within a week to the town’s director of education, Mrs Diana Cavanagh, he set out a picture grimmer than anything Dickens imagined for Dotheboys Hall.
“Reputedly five of the junior boys have been or are involved in ‘cottaging’ in and around public toilets. Men as far away as Sheffield are believed to be aware of this activity and travel to Rochdale to take part.
“One eight-year-old is thought to have been involved. The police are aware of the problem. What action has been taken is not known.
Mr Shepherd was a member of the Rochdale Health Authority Aids unit. “We are committed to preventing the spread of HIV,” he wrote. “The boys in this school look to us to be increasingly at risk.”
He added: “Most people, not least parents of children at the school, would be horrified were these facts to be made known.”
They were not. Mrs Cavanagh assured him the problem was being addressed “through concerted professional action”. She asked him to circulate his report no further, and “not to undertake any independent action”.
The Aids team was not asked back in. Mr Shepherd’s report has remained unpublicised, and it is only now that parents of the boys in Knowl View are becoming aware of the risk their children ran and what they may have gone through.
The full story of Knowl View, which opened in 1969 and closed nine months ago, has never been made public, but is clearly visible in confidential council documents seen by the Independent on Sunday.
In essence, boys as young as eight were put at risk of Aids through prostitution and liaisons with known sex offenders, after a disintegration of control over several years.
Concerns about the sexual behaviour of the boys were first passed to the council as far back as 1988 by Dr Alison Frazer, a child psychiatrist at Rochdale’s Birch Hill Hospital, yet it was three years later that Mr Shepherd issued his dire warning about the Aids dangers facing them, and another year before the council received recommendations on restoring management control after its own inquiry.
That report, by Valerie Mellor, a consultant clinical psychologist, came in February 1992. In it, Mrs Mellor said there was no doubt up to a quarter of the pupils at the 48-place school had been involved in serious sexual incidents and the activity had continued “over a very long period of time …. It is very difficult to believe that this behaviour had not come to the attention of at least some members of staff.”
Although her report suggested that sexual activity was at an end, five months later a pupil and a former pupil, both 14, were cautioned by police for soliciting in the town’s Smith Street lavatories.
At the height of the affair, a known sex offender gained overnight access to the school and allegedly plied pupils with cider and cannabis cigarettes before sexually assaulting them. Official details are scant.
In her 1992 report Valerie Mellor said only: “In September 1990, an incident occurred involving an adult male intruder at the school. That intruder had sexual contact with one or more of the boys on school premises.”
But one boy says he was raped and that at least one other boy in his house was forced to have oral sex with the intruder. He claims their cries for help went unanswered because the member of staff on “sleeping-in” duty was not there. The offender returned the next night, but that time was beaten off.
The alleged rape victim says he was never interviewed by the police. The teenager was awarded a legal-aid certificate last week to sue for damages, and on Friday Mark Walker, of solicitors Molesworths, who are representing him, applied to the council for the release of files. Mr Walker said there were serious questions about the way Rochdale handled the incident. “We are concerned that not enough was done afterwards to help our client.”
John Pierce, Rochdale council’s chief executive, said police had reviewed the case again recently and found nothing requiring further action.
He added: “The police have also stated quite clearly that they do not believe there is any substance in allegations of a ‘cover-up’ relating to incidents at the school and that all the issues involved were discussed and investigated at the time by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken then.”
The authority was already taking action before Mr Shepherd’s report, Mr Pierce said.
“Both social services and the police had become involved in dealing with issues related to inappropriate sexual activities involving Knowl View pupils and adults unconnected with the school,” he said. “Arrangements appropriate to each boy’s circumstances were made in relation to counselling and health advice.”
Mr Pierce said that staff had received sex-education training and advice on how to warn pupils of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.
But one care worker at the school said: “I would never work for this authority again. It is appalling that those people who were in charge still have jurisdiction over so many children’s lives.”
Martin Digan, 36, another former care worker, said: “I believe there has been a cover-up. Only a public inquiry can place responsibility where it should be placed.”
Parents are also dissatisfied. One 41-year-old mother believes the deterioration in her son’s behaviour was a direct result of the sexual activity he became involved in at the lavatories in Rochdale’s Smith Street – and of a vicious school environment in which, she says, on one occasion he was hit with a cricket bat.
Another mother, whose son is now in jail for causing grievous bodily harm, was informed of what happened at the school only six weeks ago by one of the other parents.
“I should have been told,” she said. “They’re pretty disgusting, aren’t they? All of the reviews I’ve sat at and none of this ever came out.”
Neither were staff and parents alone in their surprise. Bill Hopkins, who became a lay member of the governing body in late 1990, looked shocked when told last week about the prostitution. “I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know if any of the other governors did. As far as I understood it, the problem was [the known sex offender],” he said.
“It seems to me that everybody at the time was contemplating their navel,” one adviser said.
“All the reports were on how the system failed and there was only a one- line reference in all the documents to the fact that the children might need some help. Rochdale let those kids down.”
CHRIS (not his real name) can only now bring himself to admit what happened to him at Knowl View School. The memory leaves him furious.
He claims that when he was 14 he was raped by a known sex offender who gained access to the school one night and plied him with alcohol and cannabis.
He says: “I was hysterical. I couldn’t do anything. It was physical force. He threw me against the wall, threw me around the room.
“I was shocked and scared. He threatened to kill me if I told anybody.” Afterwards, he says, he lay in his bed terrified, hearing other pupils screaming.
Nobody came to help. He says the duty member of staff was not in his room.
Though Chris was later questioned by the school, he says he was never interviewed by the police.
Eventually he decided that nothing was being done – and began lashing out. He threw another pupil through a window. Once he was locked up in his bedroom for a week.
“I got to the stage where I was going to run off and find help elsewhere,” he said.
Then he decided that he had to learn to live with the experience. But that is difficult.
“If I saw [the intruder] now I’d kill him. I’ve been close to suicide and I’m extremely lucky I haven’t gone to prison.
“There were six in my dorm and two are in prison. One is serving ten- and-a half years for rape. The other shot a boy in the eye and blinded him.”
Chris was sent to Knowl View at the age of 12 because he had been disruptive at his previous school, but he believes he was too bright for the special school. He describes the lessons there as “a joke”.
He has no job and feels Knowl View deprived him of a chance in life.
“Before I went there I had a life. I don’t have one now. Sometimes I want to go to the Black Box [council offices] and just blow the whole lot of them,” he says.
“I was in care. That place was supposed to be full of qualified people to look after me and I don’t think they did. So they deserve to pay, don’t they?”
Cyril Smith MP for Rochdale 1972 to 1992. Died in 2010 age 82.
He was unmarried had a brother Norman. Interestingly, Cyril Smith’s brother Norman was on Rochdale Council and was Rochdale Mayor 1986 – 1987 when Richard Farnell was Head of Council.
Harold Shipman had a practice at Todmorden and Hyde 1977 (31 years old) to 1998 (52 years old), during a period when Shipman was murdering one person a week, and where Jimmy Savile cycled passed regularly and Cyril Smith lived nearby (30 min drive – Emma Street, Rochdale) . It is known that Savile undertook necrophilia and was associated with Rochdale NHS Trust. The Janet Smith review – the Harold Shipman Inquiry, I am told, did not look into these matters. Savile died October 2011 age 85. Cyril Smith died Sept 2010 aged 82 and Harold Shipman found hanged in prison 2004 age 58. Harold Shipman ‘s wife Primrose was a child minder.
Cyril Smith MP behind (1) the 1962 Cambridge House, hostel for boys – by November 1965 social worker had reported Cyril Smith for abusing boys
(2) and the 1969 Knowl View school in Rochdale. Cyril Smith was Rochdale Mayor 1966 – 1967. Knowl View School was labelled a “boy brothel”
In 1989 it’s alleged that Rochdale social workers were replaced by Londoners to sort out matters.
This would have been under Flowers and Farnell as they left council in 1992.
1994 Rochdale Council closed Knowl View School (Farnell and Flowers had left Rochdale Council in 1992) but nobody was ever prosecuted over abuse said to have taken place there.
Knowl View School had the 1991 Shepard Report and 1992 Mellor Report and closed 1994;
Rev Paul Flowers’ links to Cyril Smith
The Rev Paul Flowers had close political links to Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP accused of several child abuse offences
Smith was originally a Labour councillor in Rochdale and later a Liberal then Liberal Democrat MP for the town from 1972 to 1992. His brother, Norman Smith, who was mayor of Rochdale in 1986-87, said that Mr Flowers sat on council committees with Sir Cyril.
“Cyril was more involved with [Paul Flowers] than me. Cyril was a councillor and MP at the time,” he said.
“They knew each other by being on the council, and of course he was a prominent minister. They were on committees together.”
Mr Smith said Mr Flowers was the minister of Champness Hall in Drake Street, in the centre of Rochdale.
A spokesman for Rochdale Borough Council confirmed that Mr Flowers was a councillor from 1988 to 1992. The minister served as vice-chairman of the social services committee in 1990/91, and sat on the committee in the previous and following years.
During that time, 16 children in the town were taken into care because it was alleged that they had been abused and forced into Satanic rituals.
Paul Flowers (ex Co-Op bank) was Vice Chair Rochdale Social Services 1988-92 conducted a review of alleged satanic csa at Knowl View School and it’s this report that seems not to have been made public, although requests have been made to Rochdale Council and Simon Danczuk MP for it to be public .
Its alleged that both Savile and Cyril Smith attended the satanic csa rituals.
“Currently nine alleged victims are suing Rochdale council over abuse they say they suffered while at the school.
Several also claim they reported that abuse to GMP both in the early 1990s and later during the Operation Cleopatra investigation into child abuse across the region in the late 1990s, but that nothing was done.
Manchester police chief Michael Todd found dead at bottom of cliff
12 Mar 2008
A police spokesman said officers were unaware of any scandal in Mr Todd’s private life.
But Max Clifford, the publicist, said: “Someone phoned me a week ago and they had a Liverpool or Manchester accent. All they said was that they had a story about a top copper and that it was a big scandal and that they wanted to get a lot of money. I didn’t hear from them again and there was probably no connection at all with this.”
He played host to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they visited Manchester.
Mr Todd began his career with Essex police in 1976, serving as a uniformed officer and a detective and was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire in 1995 before joining the Metropolitan Police.
He rose to the rank of assistant commissioner and supervised the policing of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
He became Manchester’s £122,000-a-year police chief in 2002
Todd was appointed an Assistant Chief Constable in Nottinghamshire in 1995, initially managing support services and then operational policing. In 1998, he was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner back in the Metropolitan Police. In 2000, following his promotion to Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, he was responsible for Territorial Policing, covering all 32 London Boroughs. In 2002, he was selected as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2002 and in 2006 he became a vice-president of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), both posts he held until his death.
In 2012, it was announced that Police officials are examining new claims of financial malpractice against Todd. Greater Manchester’s new Police Commissioner appealed for information about Michael Todd, former chief constable of the force. The claims centre on Todd’s role in drawing up unique contracts that allowed some staff to get enormous payoffs when they left the force.
After his death, ManchesterChamber of Commerce Chief Executive Angie Robinson was reported to have been having an affair with Todd. It was later revealed that he was conducting numerous affairs with up to 38 different women
Todd’s numerous affairs over the past decade were an “open secret” among senior officers at Greater Manchester Police, his former employers Metropolitan Police and senior figures at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
However, they turned a blind eye to his “reputation” – despite him suffering occasional depressive episodes, the risk of him being blackmailed and one of his mistresses being caught up in a police corruption scandal.
“alarm bells were being rung constantly by health professionals 1988-1992 when Flowers” was head of social services and Farnell head of Rochdale Council.
But “no one would ever believe the story that ‘lovable Cyril’ would be abusing those he pretended to help – a man who could present himself as a saviour of the needy, while at the same time abusing them.”
Paul Flowers vice chair social services Rochdale 1988-92 under Farnell -Knowl View satanic csa – 2011 “resigned” from Bradford council due to inappropriate material
“Former Rochdale council leader Colin Lambert – who previously passed detectives a dossier on alleged abuse ” this was reported in MEN (Manchester Evening News) 8 & 11 & 17 June 2014
September 2014 Jim Dobbin MP dies of alcohol poisoning/ excess on an official Council of Europe visit to Poland* with Lord John Prescott and Sir Alan Meale MP.
Jim Dobbin MP was very critical of Farnell and Simon Danczuk. After Knowl View survivors were sent to his office, by Simon Danczuk’s office, the family banned the Danczuks from his funeral.
Councillor Richard Farnell, Samaritans branch Director Janet Murphy and Simon Danczuk celebrate 50 years of the Samaritans
Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh (R) laughs with Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale
Rochdale MP Danczuk is no stranger to scandal, having been suspended from the Labour Party in December 2015 over allegations of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 17-year-old girl.
Now, Vaz – Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee – is hitting headlines for allegedly paying male prostitutes for sex and discussing the possibility of paying for cocaine.
Soon after the Vaz scandal erupted, disgraced member of parliament Simon Danczuk leapt to defend his colleague, tweeting his support for Vaz.
“I’ve known Keith since I entered parliament. He makes a positive contribution to politics. He serves his constituents very well.
HAVE standards slipped at Liverpool council’s press office since spinmeister general Matt Finnegan was suspended? According to official council documents seen by the Insider, the reading matter of choice at the press office has taken a distinctly comic turn. For on an order form for national and local daily newspapers there is one very special request – for a copy of the Beano (young lads magazine) for senior press officer Richard Farnell. Could it be that one time parliamentary candidate Mr Farnell has a bit of Dennis the Menace about him or is he simply reliving his childhood days
He has worked on newspapers throughout the North West and worked in local government public relations for several years. He recently retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran their Press Office and was an advisor to the directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
“Richard was elected a Labour Councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. It is his second stint on the Council after a 20-year break. Richard was previously Leader of the Council in the 1980s. He was elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council. He is also responsible for regeneration and special projects and sits on the Board of the Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.”
Coun Richard Farnell, Rochdale Council leader, a position he came to as a result of a so-called “coup” in 2014 within the local Labour Party group.
Farnell was the former head of Liverpool City Council’s press office. In early 2013 it was reported that “Richard Farnell has made it to 26 out of 29 meetings at Rochdale council since last May – despite being unable to work as office manager for Liverpool’s elected mayor Joe Anderson since last summer.” 
First broadcast in September 2013, this is the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that explored the horrific scale of Cyril Smith‘s sexual abuse of children and the how the police, crown prosecution service and MI5 not only knew of his activities but actively protected him from being prosecuted for his crimes.
Of course, no one in the police forces involved, the CPS or in MI5 has been held to account for aiding and abetting Smith’s vile crimes against children
Secret service infiltrated paedophile group to ‘blackmail establishment’
BRITISH security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges.
The former civil servant has told detectives investigating the activities of paedophiles in national politics that the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch was orchestrating the child-sex lobbying group in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The whistleblower, who has spoken exclusively to the Sunday Express, says he was also warned off asking why such a notorious group was being handed government money.
It emerged late last year that PIE was twice gave amounts of £35,000 in Home Office funding between 1977 and 1980, the £70,000 total equivalent to over £400,000 in today’s money.
Those details surfaced only after the whistleblower highlighted his concerns to campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson and his revelations have triggered an ongoing Home Office inquiry into why the cash was given to PIE which was abolished in 1985 after a number of prosecutions.
Until now, speculation about the grant has centred on Clifford Hindley, the late Home Office manager who approved the payments. However, the whistleblower told the Sunday Express he thought higher and more sinister powers were at play.
He has given a formal statement to that effect to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, which is looking into allegations of historic sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in south-west London
PIE, now considered one of the most notorious groups of the era, had gained respectability in political circles. Its members are said to have included establishment figures, and disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith was a friend of founder member Peter Righton.
In 1981, Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens used Parliamentary privilege to name Sir Peter Hayman, the deputy director of MI6, as a member of PIE and an active paedophile. In 1983 Mr Dickens gave the Home Office a dossier of what he claimed was evidence of a paedophile network of “big, big names, people in positions of power, influence and responsibility”. The Home Office says the dossier no longer exists.
Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a full-time consultant in the Home Office’s Voluntary Services Unit run by Clifford Hindley.
In 1979 Mr X was asked to examine a funding renewal application for PIE, but he became concerned because the organisation’s goal of seeking to abolish the age of consent “conflicted” with the child protection policies of the Department of Health and Social Security and asked for a meeting with Mr Hindley, his immediate boss.
PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles. This led me not to pursue my objections. At that time, questioning anything to do with Special Branch, especially within the Home Office, was a ‘no-no’.
“I was under the clear belief that I was being instructed to back off and that his reference to Special Branch was expected to make me to do so.
He asked for a file the Home Office kept on PIE, but his request was refused. However, he was certain then Tory Home Office Minister Tim Raison, who died in 2011, must have signed the 1980 funding application.
Mr X has given a formal written statement to the inquiry set up last year into former Home Office links with PIE but has refused to meet the inquiry in person because he fears “repercussions” under the Official Secrets Act.
Special Branch was an integral part of the intelligence service gathering intelligence on spies and political threats to the state.
Keith Harding had members of the royal family as clients and appeared with Jimmy Savile on Jim’ll Fix it
Savile with the Duke of Gloucester
Savile’s brother canvassed for Cyril – he even stood for election-Battersea with Honor Blackman as celeb attraction. And of course Honor was around Hebden Bridge – another Savile haunt – all palsy walsy.
Smith, who died in 2010 aged 82, reportedly bonded with Savile after meeting him at a medieval banquet forty years ago.
In his autobiography Big Cyril, the MP whom police have now acknowledged abused young boys, recounts meeting the DJ.
He said: “I once attended a medieval banquet at Worsley, Lancashire, along with Jimmy Savile. When I joined in the community singing, Jimmy blurted out: ‘You’ve got a nice voice there, Cyril, you must come on my programme!’ That’s how I ended up singing ‘She’s a Lassie from Lancashire’ on Clunk Click.”
Paedophile MP Cyril Smith was in league with another appalling child sex abuser who set up satanic rituals and raped children as young as TWO, the Sunday People has discovered.
Victim Michael Roberts, 40, today bravely puts aside his right to anonymity to tell for the first time how he was only six when he was sexually abused by 29-stone politician Smith.
And shockingly he has revealed his devil-worshipping stepdad Michael Horgan organised the horrendous ordeal. Horgan made a deal with the man who went on to be knighted after years as a respected Member of Parliament.
Michael claims Smith, who was also a close pal of Jimmy Savile, told him he had been “a naughty boy” before forcing him to take part in a perverted spanking and groping ritual.
Now studying for a counselling qualification, Michael fought back tears as he recalled: “I was frightened of him because of his size. But by then I was getting abused by so many people I’d just got used to it.”
Horgan, who has also used the name Shaun O’Donnell, became known as the High Priest of Satan.
He was jailed for 10 years and placed on the sex offenders’ register after he was found guilty of six sex abuse charges in 1992. Smith died in 2010 aged 82.
Horgan organised a series of satanic-themed orgies for like-minded paedos.
In one of them he raped little Michael and an even younger female child before watching on as others did the same.
He organised outdoor “parties” for these activities on Saddleworth Moor, where child killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley had buried their victims.
Youngsters from two to 13 were drugged, tortured and sexually abused during the satanic “ceremonies”.
The shock revelation over the satanist and MP’s friendship raises questions over any role Smith and Jimmy Savile may have played in Horgan’s paedo ring.
Horgan was also pals with Raymond Hewlett, the child rapist questioned in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Michael added: “Michael Horgan used to take me out to ‘visit’ people regularly. It didn’t seem that far away. It didn’t take us long to get there. We went there in a taxi. Just me and Michael Horgan.
“I can’t remember where it was, just that it was a long row of houses and that it wasn’t far from where we lived in Rochdale.”
Michael says the visit had obviously been set up beforehand as local MP Smith greeted him by his first name when he walked in the room.
He added: “We went into the house. He was a big fat guy. They (Horgan and Cyril) were talking between themselves. It looked like it had been pre-planned because he (Cyril) said, ‘Hello, Michael.’
According to police records, prosecutors were given evidence about him in 1970, 1998 and 1999 but charges were never brought.
He was finally exposed as a paedophile in November last year. The Crown Prosecution Service admitted he should have been charged.
One of his victims claimed he was sexually abused in a room in the Houses Parliament as MPs walked past.
High priest of evil set free to prey on children 14 March 1999 The News of the World Paul McMullan and Amanda Revell Walton
Satan sex monster abused his own kids..then let sick disciples do the same
A sick ‘high priest’ of Satan who raped his own kids, then handed them to devil worshipers for more abuse will this week be FREED to prey on other tots.
Michael Horgan hung his naked daughter and stepson on HOOKS and tied them to a CROSS so his ‘disciples’ could torture and film them.
Yet he only served half his ten-year jail sentence before being transferred to a bail hostel last May.
And on Tuesday the monster- whose youngest victim was only TWO -will be back on the streets unsupervised.
Vile Horgan, 50-who has changed his name to Shaun O’Donnell-would normally have his identity cloaked by the same laws which guarantee his victims anonymity.
But today his daughter Philomena, now 21, and stepson Michael, 26, have taken the amazingly brave decision to reveal themselves.
For they want the world to see the evil that is their father- and every parent to be warned that he is back on the loose. Philomena and Michael even found the courage to tell of the torment they suffered at Horgan’s hands as they grew up in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
How the world’s biggest asbestos factory tried to stop campaigners exposing the killer dust’s dangers
Turner and Newall spied on journalists and activists before trying to accuse the of being communists in the 1980s
…executives at Rochdale-based asbestos giant Turner and Newall monitored people they considered to be “subversive” and kept a dossier on their activities at the height of the debate about the mineral’s safety in the 1980s.
They also enlisted the help of disgraced Rochdale MP Cyril Smith in a clandestine but ultimately unsuccessful bid to discredit the makers of an award-winning documentary that told how asbestos workers were dying from cancer.
The boy who grew up to be Blair’s favourite priest
By FATHER MICHAEL SEED
Along my path, I met the late Cardinal Basil Hume. (Who invited Jimmy Savile to the Athenaeum Club.) This holy and humble man, with such a lively sense of fun and serenity, would become my mentor and friend. I was ordained a deacon in 1985.
On January 1, 1988, Cardinal Hume asked me if I would become his secretary for ecumenical affairs.
I accepted with joy and gratitude and began an eventful and extremely happy 11-year association with him, which I still cherish.
I was even more delighted when his successor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O’Connor, asked me, in spring 2000, if I would continue in that role during his tenure as archbishop – a ministry I still hold to this day.
Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?
As the full scale of the British Establishment’s cover-up of child sex abuse becomes apparent, Alistair McBay argues it is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make public its reasons for dropping the investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor 12 years ago.
Below is a timeline for Sir Cyril Smith MBE which we hope will provide a quick and easy reference resource. It is by no means definitive and if anyone has information that can help make it better then please post it as a comment. Even if we don’t add them to the timeline, such comments will be useful to anyone researching Cyril Smith in the future.
Timelines like this can be useful but they can also have their drawbacks. As a positive this one clearly highlights no less than 12 occasions when the police became aware, to a greater or lesser degree, of Cyril Smith’s offending or his unhealthy and illegal interest in young boys, These 12 entries are in bold. In my view, this timeline also clearly demonstrates a cover-up and complicity by the authorities which allowed Cyril Smith to continue to offend.
As a negative, this timeline does not adequately illustrate the fact that Cyril Smith was continuously offending throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. As I understand it, Greater Manchester Police are still investigating Cyril Smith’s sexual offending against young boys and hopefully a report will be published in due course which will better illustrate the appalling scale of Cyril Smith’s offending. However, until such a report is published this is the best that can be done.
Sir Cyril Smith MBE. This Is Your Life.
Knowl View School Timeline
1969 Knowl View Residential School for opened for children with learning difficulties.
1988 Concerns about the sexual behaviour of the boys were first passed to the council by Dr Alison Frazer, a child psychiatrist at Rochdale’s Birch Hill Hospital 
1990 Sept An incident occurred involving an adult male intruder at the school. That intruder had sexual contact with one or more of the boys on school premises. Mellor report 
1991 Rev Flowers, disgraced ex boss of Coop was vice-chair of the social services committee in 1991 
1991 Mar Phil Shepherd visited Knowl View. 1 week later Phil Shepherd had written the report and submitted it to Mrs Diana Cavanagh, Director of Education. 
1991 Apr 11 Investigation by police and social services requested by DOE 
1991 May 31 Social Services say No case to answer!! 
1992 Feb Report by Valerie Mellor, a consultant clinical psychologist. In it, Mrs Mellor said there was no doubt up to a quarter of the pupils at the 48-place school had been involved in serious sexual incidents and the activity had continued “over a very long period of time …. It is very difficult to believe that this behaviour had not come to the attention of at least some members of staff.”  Her report suggested that sexual activity was at an end.
1992 c.Jul A pupil and a former pupil, both 14, were cautioned by police for soliciting in the town’s Smith Street lavatories 
1995 Knowl View School Closed down Whistleblower Martin Digan, whose appointment as the school’s head of care heralded its closure 
1995 Sep 10 Independent  John Pierce, Rochdale council’s chief executive, said police had reviewed the case again recently and found nothing requiring further action. He added: “The police have also stated quite clearly that they do not believe there is any substance in allegations of a ‘cover-up’ relating to incidents at the school and that all the issues involved were discussed and investigated at the time by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken then.”
2013 Sep 11 Exaro Nick Fielding  Knowl View files. Council warned of scandal
2014 Apr 12 Telegraph Melanie Hall  and Liberal party allegedly ‘covered up’ MP Cyril Smith’s four decades of abusing children
2014 April Police began a fresh investigation into allegations of abuse and a possible cover-up at Knowl View. A separate independent inquiry is investigating whether Rochdale Council could have done more. 
2014 Jun 3 BBC Richard Bilton  Knowl View: Report into abuse at Rochdale school ‘suppressed’
2014 Jun 3 FOI Request  for Shepherd Report on Knowl View
2014 Jul 7 ITV Council suspends review for police investigation 
2014 Sep 17 Shepherd Report  heavily redacted released in reply to Jun 3 2014 request.
28th June 1928- Cyril Smith is born in Rochdale Lancashire, the illegitimate son of Eva Smith who worked in service to a local cotton mill-owning family. He has a sister, Eunice and a brother Norman. They never learn who their father is.
1945- Cyril Smith joins the Liberal Party
1951- Cyril Smith leaves the Liberal Party and joins Labour
1952- Cyril Smith was elected a Labour Party councillor for the Falinge ward of Rochdale. As a councillor, Cyril became governor of twenty-nine local schools and would often visit them.
1956- Cyril Smith buys St Mary’s Gate newsagent and tobacconist. (It was demolished in 1959 as part of a re-development scheme).
Late 1950s-Smith’s newsagent on St Mary’s Gate was put under police surveillance as there had been concerns that boys were entering from the rear of the property. (Source Mike Smith, CID).
Late 50s- Cyril Smith gets a criminal record and is bound over to keep the peace for twelve months after breaching public lottery laws and trying to sell a lottery ticket to the chief constable of Rochdale.
1960- Cyril Smith sets up and manages Rochdale’s first bingo hall with Fred Ratcliffe, the Rochdale football club chairman.
1961- The first victim of Smith that the police know of was groomed in December 1961 after a visit to a school carol service. The boy was fourteen years old and Cyril pays for singing lessons for him and soon sexually abuses him.
1962- Cyril Smith helps to set up Cambridge House, an independently run hostel for homeless boys funded by Rotary club and Rochdale council .
1964- Ronald Neal is physically attacked by Smith at Cambridge House, his head smashed against a wall and two teeth knocked out. He is taken to hospital for stitches and but when he explained what had happened to him was advised to say he had fallen over.
Lyndon Price, Head of Social Services, Rochdale (1965-1971)
1965 – Lyndon Price, Head of Social Services, Rochdale (1965-1971) goes to the Chief Constable Patrick Ross concerning allegations of improper behaviour by Cyril Smith at Cambridge House.Nothing was done at this time but soon after Cambridge House closed.
1966- Cyril Smith was appointed the Mayor of Rochdale and visits every single school in Rochdale that year. He claimed that children love meeting him – ‘It’s like a fairy story for them’.
June 1966- Cyril Smith is appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) ‘For services to youth’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
1967- Cyril Smith MBE resigns the Labour whip and becomes an independent until 1970.
Knowl View Special School
1969- Cyril Smith helps to found Knowl View Special School. He will be a governor of the school with his own access all areas pass key for the next 34 years.
Jack Tasker, Detective Constable Lancashire Police CID (1966-1973)
1969-1970- Rochdale Borough Police Force begin new investigation under the leadership of Chief Inspector Derek Wheater into Cyril Smith regarding Cambridge House allegations, 8 former residents are witnesses. Finding his investigation being subtly obstructed, he asks Detective Constable Jack Tasker of the county CID to investigate. Tasker interviews Cyril Smith under caution. Smith denies the allegations but Tasker believes the 8 witnesses. However, before Jack Tasker can make his report 2 senior police officers demand all the evidence and order Tasker to cease his investigation. However, this was not a cover-up. The investigation was in fact taken over by Detective Superintendent Jack Watson who concluded that Smith “used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys toward whom he had a special responsibility.”
Jack McCann MP
Cyril Smith asked the then Rochdale MP John ‘Jack’ McCann for help and he spoke to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Despite the evidence file running to 80 pages to case was swiftly dropped, the DPP commenting that “any charges of indecent assault found on these allegations, as well as being somewhat stale, would be in my view be completely without corroboration. Further, the character of some of these young men would be likely to render their evidence suspect.”
1970- Cyril Smith rejoins the Liberal Party and is controversially selected as the parliamentary candidate in the 1970 general election. He comes second.
1970- CPS records indicates file received on Smith, aged, 42, for allegation(s) relating to indecent obscene publications. (Source)
May 1972 – Smith is stripped of committee chairmanships when Labour regained control of council.
October 1972- Following the death of the Labour MP John ‘Jack’ McCann in July, Cyril Smith is elected in a by-election and becomes the member of Parliament for Rochdale.
1974- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in both of the general elections of that year (Feb 28th and Oct 10th).
June 1975- Smith is appointed as the Liberal Party Chief Whip.
Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch (1964-1981)
It is around this time that Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch saw the Cyril Smith criminal file which had been locked in a safe at Lancashire Special Branch since the police investigations of 1969-1970.
Mid 1970s-Jimmy Savile appears with Cyril in a Liberal Party political broadcast giving his backing to the party.
1976- Following the election of David Steel as leader of the Liberal Party, Cyril Smith resigns as Chief Whip for ‘health reasons’.
Detective Constable Paul Foulston, Thames Valley Police CID (1976-1988)
1976- In an unconnected investigation , Detective Constable Paul Foulston, Thames Valley Police CID visits a youth at Ashford Young Offenders Centre to eliminate him from a murder inquiry. He and his sergeant are spoken to outside of the centre by two Metropolitan Police Special Branch officers who attempt to stop them interviewing the youth as it would “not be in the national interest” to do so. They ignored the warning and interviewed the 18 year old youth anyway. After the youth had been eliminated from the murder inquiry he proceeded to tell the two police officers that he had been in a relationship with Cyril Smith for many years and that he had been discarded for a younger boy who had in turn been discarded in favour of a boy even younger. Detective Constable Paul Foulston quotes the youth as saying ” that when they were young and tight, they excited him [Cyril Smith] when they became older he lost interest in them.”
March 1977- The parliamentary Liberal Party enter into a confidence and supply agreement with the Labour government (Lib/Lab Pact).
Soon after this Detective Sergeant Tony Robinson of Lancashire Special Branch was contacted by MI5 using the code term ‘Box 500’ demanding that the Cyril Smith file that was locked in their safe be sent by special courier that day to them in London.
Late 1970s- Martin Digan, a social worker, begins work at Knowl View School. He complained that Smith and his friend, the Conservative councillor, Harry Wild, chair of the board of govenors at Knowl View, would enter the school for no reason but to look at the boys. Digan put in several complaints but was threatened with disciplinary action by the headmaster and warned not to complain about Smith again or else he would face dismissal.
Late 1970s- Ron Foynes, a member of the Royal Military Police Company based in central London says that Smith was detained on a number of occasions in the late 1970s by the Royal Parks Constabulary after he was caught ‘in acts of gross indecency with young lads’ in the public toilets close to the junction of Marlborough Road and the Mall. On each occasion they had been told to discontinue their inquiries due to Smith’s status.
1978- Cyril Smith molests an 11-year-old boy at the National Liberal Club in London.
May 1979- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.
May 1979- The Rochdale Alternative Press(RAP) publish the Cambridge House allegations. The story is taken up by The New Statesman and Private Eye but none of the mass circulation newspapers take the story up. It is revealed following the death of Jeremy Thorpe that Thorpe’s defence barrister, George Carman QC, has put pressure on the press not to report the RAP allegations as it could prejudice his clients trial for Conspiracy to Murder.
In response to the RAP story about Smith a spokesman for the Liberal Party was quoted as saying, “All he seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms”
The Director of Public Prosecutions tells the Rochdale Alternative Press that they could not ‘confirm or deny’ receiving files of evidence incriminating Smith.
1980s- Smiths car was pulled over on the motorway and a box of indecent images of children found in the boot. He was put in a cell but police received a phone call from London and he was released without charge. Senior officers had threatened the officers involved with dismissal if Smith was not released immediately.
1981- Police operation started in 1981. It targeted south London addresses including a flat in Coronation Buildings, Lambeth – a tenement block less than a mile from Parliament and found substantial evidence of men abusing boys aged about 14. A hidden camera was installed in the flat with the help of a caretaker. Cyril Smith and a senior member of Britain’s intelligence services were among the suspects filmed. The investigation also had evidence on two senior police officers.
Cyril Smith was later arrested after reportedly taking part in a sex party with teenage boys but he was released that night and a sergeant who wanted to keep him in custody was reprimanded.
June 1982- Following the police raid on the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London, allegations are made against Cyril Smith regarding the sexual abuse of a young boy. Much later in Sept 2013 Cyril Smith’s attendance at the guest house is confirmed by police.
1983/1984- CPS records indicate file received on Smith, aged 55, for allegation(s) in relation to Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 [Bribery] (Source)
June 1983- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.
Summer 1984- According to Don Hale, then editor of the Bury Messenger, he received a dossier concerning the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and supporters within Parliament from Barbara Castle who was then a member of the European Parliament. Cyril Smith, who was not named in the documents visited him at his office and tried to persuade him that the allegations were “poppycock” and that he should not publish them. Later, Special Branch seized the documents. (Source)
June 1987- Smith is returned as Rochdale’s MP in the general election of that year.
1987-1989- Cyril Smith is investigated as part of Operation Hedgerow, an investigation which would expose two paedophile rings. Smith’s involvement is never followed up.
1988 – A former police officer has told how he called at a house in Stockport in 1988 after a complaint that the occupier had been committing a lewd act in his window in front of a newspaper boy. When he arrived he said Cyril Smith was there, together with a police officer in civilian clothes and two teenage boys, aged about 14 to 15 yrs old, both drunk – one a runaway from a children’s home.
Cyril Smith and the police officer left the house and the other man, a known offender, was cautioned. The retired police officer further alleges he was summoned to a meeting with a senior officer and mentoring officer and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ to say nothing about the incident (source).
3 March 1988- The Liberal Party merge with the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats
June 1988- After being nominated by David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party faction, Cyril Smith MBE is knighted in the Birthday Honours list and becomes Sir Cyril Smith MBE.
July 1988- Paddy Ashdown is elected as the leader of the newly created Liberal Democrats.
1990s – Police investigate Smith regarding abuse Knowl View
April 1992- Sir Cyril Smith steps down as Rochdale’s MP.
Martin Digan, former head of care at Knowl View Special Needs School in Rochdale
1994- A boy under the age of eleven at Knowl View came to Martin Digan one night after having been sexually assaulted by a man fitting the description of Harry Wild. The police were called. Digan knew that Smith and Wilde both had keys to the school, but they did not have the alarm code and he could not understand how they were gaining access at night. He eventually noticed that the headmaster’s office door was being left ajar at night. In this office, he also discovered a report by the local health authority that had been presented to the council’s direction of education, Diana Cavanagh. Cavanagh had instructed the author of the report ‘not to undertake any independent action’ or circulate the report any further.
It stated that boys aged eight to sixteen at Knowl View were at risk of AIDS and had been subjected to severe sexual abuse and violence by men from as far away from Sheffield who had travelled to Rochdale for this purpose. The boys were being sold to paedophile gangs.’ Digan copied the papers, returned the originals, and made the report public although he omitted Smith and Wild’s names. The publicity resulted in the closure of the school but Digan lost nearly everything and had to move home. He also received phone calls from paedophiles threatening to target his children.
3 September 2010- Sir Cyril Smith MBE dies of cancer in a Rochdale nursing home.
November 2012, Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said there was “overwhelming evidence” that young boys were sexually and physically abused by Sir Cyril Smith MBE.
April 2014- It was reported that there had been 144 complaints against Sir Cyril Smith MBE from victims as young as eight.
A former colleague of Steel, David, now Lord, Alton, tells Channel 4Dispatches that he discussed the allegations made by the Rochdale Alternative Paper about boys being stripped, beaten and subjected to bizarre “hygiene examinations” or “chastisements” from Smith at Cambridge House, with Steel. He claims Steel made “a facetious remark” saying that what Smith was accused of was “no different” from what went on in public schools all over the country.
Michael Meadowcroft, a former Liberal MP and colleague of Steel, tells the programme that: “Essentially as long as a colleague turns up and votes the right way you don’t really do much about their own problems.”
Former MP Michael Meadowcroft in an obituary wrote of how Freud became the MP for the Isle of Ely.
“My recollection is that the contact came via Jeremy Thorpe,” wrote Meadowcroft, describing how Freud won the nomination in 1973.
“He won the nomination by thirteen votes to eight – a total vote hardly evidence for a massive association membership, particularly as he stated that the thirteen were residents of a care home across the road, drafted in to make the numbers look more respectable.”
From: Michael Meadowcroft, Honorary Alderman, City of Leeds.
THE death of Sir Jimmy Savile has reminded me of my failed attempt to get him elected to the Leeds City Council as its last elected Alderman. In early 1972, Labour Alderman John Underwood died and, as the Local Government Bill then wending its way through parliament abolished the office of Alderman as a member of borough and county councils, this was likely to be the last ever vacancy. Jimmy had already made a name for himself locally and on the media and I had met him briefly when he “dropped in” at the Liberal party conference in Scarborough some years earlier. It occurred to me that it would bring some much-needed colour to the City Council if we had Jimmy as a member, not least because, despite his appearance and his gimmicks, he had a very serious side. I therefore contacted him and he asked me to call at his terrace house in Lower Woodhouse. We discussed what it would entail to be a City Council member, even if only for a couple of years, and he said he was prepared to be nominated but only on condition that it had cross-party support. I next went to see Alderman Frank Marshall, the Conservative Leader of the City Council but, alas, he was not prepared to back the proposal and I had to report back to Jimmy that we couldn’t take it forward. And so the chance to have Jimmy Savile on the City Council was missed!
Sir Cyril Smith, former Rochdale MP and friend of Manning, said: “Bernard was a heavyweight in more ways than one. A heavyweight to the literally hundreds of charitable causes that he supported all his life and raised thousands of pounds for.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: “I’m delighted that the new Lord Mayor has taken the opportunity to visit the city so early in her tenure.
“We have developed very cordial and positive relationships with the Lord Mayor’s office since establishing a presence in London and we are grateful for her help in promoting the UK’s International Festival for Business in Liverpool next year.”
JOE ANDERSON was elected mayor of Liverpool in May 2012. Anderson, 56, was born in Liverpool and raised in a tenement in the city centre. One of six children, he left school at 16 to join the merchant navy and then P&O Ferries. Anderson spent 12 years at sea, during which he became the National Union of Seamen’s youngest ever convenor, aged just 20. He then took a degree in social work at Liverpool John Moores University before joining Sefton council as a social worker in 1992. He was elected to the city council in 1998, becoming Labour leader in 2001. He became council leader in 2010.
Liverpool teacher acccused of downloading child porn quizzed over deleted files
8 MAY 2013
Labour Party Councillor & School teacher Ben Williams gets a tip off from Labour Mayor Joe Anderson & Deletes 207 files from his computer the day before the section 47 police raid a jury at Liverpool Court heard Ben Williams admit.
A FORMER councillor accused of downloading child porn deleted hundreds of files off his computer the day after his party leader revealed he was under investigation.
One-time Clubmoor councillor Benjamin Williams, 35, admitted he had removed 207 files from his computer’s memory the day after speaking to Liverpool Labour leader Cllr Joe Anderson in December 2007.
He was arrested two days later on suspicion of making indecent images. But Williams, of Townsend Avenue, Norris Green, yesterday insisted he had deleted the files to simply make his computer work more quickly.
History and politics teacher Williams had originally fallen under suspicion in October 2006 after the IT manager at Southport’s King George V (KGV) college discovered he had been putting explicit terms such as “Lolita” and “child porn” into school computers.
Theresa May and Joe Anderson
During his second day of evidence yesterday, Williams confirmed Cllr Anderson had told him a section 47 enquiry was underway. A section 47 enquiry is a joint social services and police investigation into child protection issues.
But Williams insisted he did not realise the police would be involved.
But prosecutor Peter Davies questioned Williams over why the very next day he deleted 207 files from his computer’s temporary internet cache.
He said: “I never, ever thought it was a sinister activity. I thought it was a way of making my computer work more effectively.
“I guess I would do it every week or two. The reason was totally innocuous.”
He insisted he regularly removed files from his computer when it was running slowly or freezing.
Williams denies 10 charges of downloading indecent images.
Shameless councillors cash in on rate rises with bumper pay hikes of up to 67 per cent
Rochdale Borough Council’s Labour leader Richard Farnell treated himself to a 51 per cent pay day – up to £47,304 from £31,224.
Grasping local government members are filling their pockets as ordinary people buckle under pressure of council tax increases
“It’s outrageous that in this time of austerity, when services are being cut to the bone, cabinet members are awarding themselves massive pay rises.
“The council is forever pleading poverty and has just started charging extra for garden waste collection – but there seems to be plenty of money to line the pockets of the powerful.
“This is absolutely sickening.
“What exactly have these politicans done to deserve these pay rises?
“How many taxpayers struggling with tax bills will have seen a pay rise of up to 50 per cent?
“Families expect their taxes to pay for social care and road maintenance, not to line the pockets of greedy politicans.”
Councillor Richard Farnell is a trained journalist and communications professional. He has worked on newspapers throughout the North West and worked in local government public relations for several years.
He recently retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran their Press Office and was an advisor to the directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
Richard was elected a Labour councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. It is his second stint on the council after a 20-year break. Richard was previously Leader of the council in the 1980s.
He was elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council. He is also responsible for regeneration and special projects.
Richard, as a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, was appointed by the new major of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in May 2017 as the City’s Region’s Lead for the Digital Economy. He also serves as national vice-chair of the Cooperative Councils Innovative Network.
Regeneration of the boroughs town centres, attracting new firms and jobs to the area, and improving education, skills and opportunities for young people are major priorities for the Leader. Richard also wants to see Rochdale become one of most customer-friendly councils in the country.
Richard lives in Rochdale and is a supporter of Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club, which is one of the first member-owned Co-operative clubs in England.
When I was a rentboy I often serviced Cyril Smith at the Strand Palace Hotel in the Charringcross Road. Cyril was unbelievably brutal and made me dress up as a Boy Scout. He used to give me thirty bob and my bus fare home.
Cyril Smith’s Tory councillor boyfriend Harry Wild ‘groomed’ young prison inmates
Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith’s councillor boyfriend preyed on young male inmates of a jail in Rochdale, a previously confidential police report reveals.
Harry Wild, who was a Conservative councillor in Rochdale and chairman of the council’s social services committee, is suspected to have shared with Smith a sexual interest in under-age boys.
Greater Manchester Police investigated Wild in 2000 over allegations that he, while a member of the board of visitors at Buckley Hall prison in Rochdale, attempted to groom young male inmates and indecently assaulted at least one of them.
A confidential 17-page report on the investigation, codenamed ‘Operation European’, described its findings as “somewhat disturbing”.
Prison staff told detectives that Wild used his position on the board of visitors, which acted as a watchdog for the prison, “to further his own sexual gratification”.
The report says: “The prison staff who have been interviewed at Buckley Hall have expressed concern about Wild and his unhealthy interest in young males and what they describe as ‘grooming’ of certain individual inmates.”
The national inquiry into child sexual abuse heard last month that Wild was also suspected of indecently assaulting a pupil at Knowl View special school in Rochdale. The inquiry’s “Rochdale” investigation was also told at hearings in October that Wild was Smith’s boyfriend.
Smith, who was Rochdale’s MP, and Wild were both governors of Knowl View, where child sexual abuse was rife.
A barrister to the inquiry referred to the Operation European report, but it was not made public. I asked for the report, and the inquiry has released the document.
It comes amid growing concerns about the scale of sexual and physical abuse of inmates at youth offender institutions and prisons.
On Tuesday, Durham Police announced that seven former members of staff at Medomsley detention centre near Consett have been charged in relation to allegations of abuse of young men there. More than 1,480 men have come forward to the police investigation, ‘Operation Seabrook’, with allegations of sexual or physical assaults at Medomsley.
GMP launched Operation European in 2000 because Wild had become a trustee of the Rochdale and District Youth Fitness Foundation, which claimed to promote physical education for people in the town aged 11 to 23.
Wild was then aged 66 and living in Rochdale with his mother. The police became aware of his role in the group because Wild wrote to the chief constable three months after it was founded to seek active support for it from the police.
Detectives wanted to establish whether he was a “fit and proper person to be involved with young people”.
Wild was 6’5 tall, an imposing figure who liked to dress in a Crombie coat down to his ankles and to wear black polished boots. He pretended to have been an army officer in the Household Cavalry, and inmates called him “the colonel”.
However, detectives found that he was never an officer, but joined the army under national service in 1951 and transferred to the Household Cavalry.
The report is marked, “IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE”. It records the fact that he had long been a “big friend” of Smith. It adds that Smith was believed to have sponsored Wild for an MBE, which he was awarded for “services to the community”.
An official from the secretariat for the Home Office boards of visitors was to interview Wild about the allegations in 1997. But the interview did not go ahead after Wild resigned from the board of visitors.
Operation European investigated Wild’s activities at the prison as well as his background.
The report on the operation was sent to the GMP’s then chief constable, but said that there was insufficient evidence to charge him. Wild died the following year in 2001.
The report describes how Wild is alleged to have groomed young male inmates, for example, buying tobacco and chocolate for them, giving money to them, helping them secure parole, and picking them up on their release and taking them for meals.
It referred to one prisoner who was at Buckley Hall from 1996, saying:
“WILD took a personal interest in him. He brought in to him tobacco and chocolate and sent in, anonymously, presents of money, clothing and an electronic spell checker. [Name redacted] realised that WILD was homosexual and was attempting to groom him, but he decided to take advantage of the situation.”
After the prisoner was released in 1998, says the report:
“WILD picked him up on his release and took him for a meal. When WILD dropped him off in Burnley later the same day [name redacted] made it clear that there would be no relationship and he has not seen or heard of WILD since.”
The report then turns to the case of another prisoner, saying:
“WILD took an unhealthy interest in him and on one occasion grabbed his backside, an incident which was investigated by the prison authorities. [Name redacted] did not then, nor does he wish to now, make any formal complaint, although he has provided a statement for information purposes. On one occasion WILD asked him if he could take him for a meal on his release. [Name redacted] realised that WILD was homosexual and did his best to avoid him. There has been no contact since his release.”
The prison governor, Walter MacGowan, told officers that Wild was full of his own self-importance and a predatory homosexual:
“He described WILD as an overbearing bully who was arrogant and full of self important [sic] and through his dealings with him formed the opinion that he was a ‘predatory’ homosexual. He was extremely concerned about WILD’S excessive visits and as soon as the [name redacted] incident became known he ordered a full enquiry.”
Other staff described Wild as pompous, saying that he would boast of being well connected in political and social circles. He claimed to be a good friend of the then home secretary, Michael (later Lord) Howard.
The report sets out what several other staff told officers:
“Mary LOWERY was the Residential Manager for Alpha and Bravo units at Buckley Hall Prison. She too was concerned at WILD’s over familiarity with prisoners and recalls him telling her that he was making arrangements for a third party to give items of clothing to a prisoner upon release. She told him that this was totally inappropriate. WILD also asked her to watch over the previously mentioned prisoner, [name redacted] because he was concerned that older prisoners found him ‘attractive’. She describes WILD as having a tendency to be pompous with a ‘large’ presence and one who liked to make it known that he was well connected in political and social circles.”
“John McLAUGHLIN is a prison officer who was Visits and Segregation Supervisor at Buckley Hall Prison. He recalls WILD as a man who presented himself as a powerful figure both in and out of prison. The prisoners began to refer to WILD as the Colonel which he played upon. McLAUGHLIN was also concerned about the amount of attention WILD gave to the younger, fresh-faced prisoners, not appearing to take any interest in the older prisoners. McLAUGHLIN was aware of the [name redacted] incident and also knew of a letter which WILD had written to the Parole Board in support of an application made by [name redacted]. This was most unusual and not within the remit of a Board of Visitors Member.
“McLAUGHLIN recalls the previously mentioned [name redacted] and another prisoner by the name of [name redacted] as being two inmates in whom WILD has a particular interest. McLAUGHLIN described [name redacted] as different from the majority of prisoners, being of good family background and very sensitive. He recalls one occasion when [name redacted]’s parents came to visit and how WILD had hovered round [name redacted] for the whole two hours.
“He also recalls another prisoner, [name redacted (1)]… who also took a strong interest in [name redacted (2)]. [Name redacted (1)] was well versed in prison life and was serving a long sentence for violence. McLAUGHLIN believed that [name redacted (1)] was using [name redacted (2)] for his own personal gratification. Interestingly, WILD requested that [name redacted (1)] be moved from Buckley Hall, albeit that the transfer and movement of prisoners was not the concern of a Board of Visitors member. McLAUGHLIN felt that WILD saw [name redacted (1)] as direct opposition and an obstacle between himself and [name redacted (2)]. He too described WILD as a predatory homosexual who used the position as a Board of Visitors member to further his own sexual gratification.”
“Gary WALSH is a Security Manager at Buckley Hall and was informed by [name redacted] that WILD had put a letter in his parole file supporting his application. WALSH found this to be most unusual as never before had he heard of a Board of Visitors member doing so.”
“Thomas FOLEY, a prison officer… was involved with his colleague, WALSH, in interviewing [name redacted] with regards to the incident when WILD grabbed his backside. [Name redacted] also told FOLEY on the day of his release that WILD had asked him for his telephone number so that he could contact him later and take him for a drink or a meal.”
“Irene Veronica BIRD, was a Prison Controller at the Prison and now works as a Governor at a prison in Gloucestershire. She too had grave concerns with regards to WILD’s excessive visits and improper conduct towards prisoners. WILD told her that he was a computer expert and often travelled abroad. Interestingly WILD used her as a reference, and without her knowledge, when he reapplied to become a Board of Visitors member at six other prisons in the North West in 1998, an application which was immediately withdrawn when he was reminded of the allegations at Buckley Hall.”
“Trevor KAY is employed as a Probation Officer at Buckley Hall and had concerns regarding WILD when WILD submitted a letter supporting the parole application made by [name redacted]. It was unheard of for a Board of Visitors member to write such a letter and he had further concerns when WILD offered to make housing arrangements for a prisoner on his release. KAY was also involved in interviewing [name redacted] regarding allegations. [Name redacted] told him that WILD had made comments about him looking nice in shorts and had also asked him for his phone number so that he could take him for a meal and a drink upon his release.”
“Sandra KNIGHT, a Parole Clerk at the Prison, told WILD that his submission of a letter supporting the parole of a prisoner was inappropriate and irrelevant.”
“Janice WALTON was a Prison Officer at Buckley Hall and had met WILD previously whilst working as a store detective at Tesco’s, Rochdale. Although she didn’t know him by name at that time she remembers him always seeking the assistance of young trolley boys to help him with his shopping. One in particular, who she knew to be called [name redacted] had told her that WILD had said he would help him out when needed. WALTON was aware of the allegations made against WILD at Buckley Hall and on one occasion had put his arm around a prisoner called [name redacted] and had apparently spoken to him in a suggestive manner.”
“John Henry CLEMENTS was Chairman of the Board of Visitors at Buckley Hall at the time. He was concerned about the excessive number of visits WILD was making and that he was too familiar with prisoners with some of them calling him ‘Harry’. On another occasion he referred to an unknown prisoner as ‘a dear boy’. CLEMENTS was responsible for initially telling WILD about the allegations being made against him and showing him a letter outlining matters. WILD, having read the letter, replied ‘TOTAL AND UTTER RUBBISH AND UTTER NONSENSE.’ WILD then further stated, ‘IF THAT’S THE CASE, I AM RESIGNING’.
“Alan CROSSLAND is the Residential Manager at Buckley Hall Prison and he was aware of the allegations against WILD. He recalls bumping into WILD on Leeds Railway Station in 1997 and seeing him talking intensely to a young man who was introduced as WILD’s son (false). CROSSLAND was so concerned about matters that he submitted an internal intelligence memorandum regarding this event. The young man on the railway station has never been traced.”
“John LYNCH was Deputy Controller of Buckley Hall at the time and describes WILD as a pompous man who liked to name drop. He even stated that he was a good friend of Michael HOWARD, the then Home Secretary.
“Ian LOCKWOOD is HMP Area Manager for the North West Area, Prison Governors Manager and directly answerable to the Minister for Prisons and the Home Secretary. WILD told him that he was an agent for the Home Secretary. It was LOCKWOOD who instructed Walter MacGOWAN to carry out an investigation into the allegations against WILD.”
Detectives also asked Lyndon Price, then Rochdale’s director of social services, about Wild. The report says:
“PRICE describes WILD as ‘pompous’ and ‘overbearing’, he was bright and well connected to Cyril SMITH. He showed great interest in youth work with particular regards to young boys. WILD in his position had free access to, and would visit, children’s homes. Though PRICE had no evidence that he had acted in an improper manner towards children, he felt uneasy with regards to his interest and motives for involvement with children’s services. PRICE would follow up any visits by WILD. Around 1971 WILD told PRICE that he was being posted to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by ICI to set up a fertiliser company. He disappeared, returning around the early 1980’s… In 1991, WILD became a member of Knowl View Governors having been co-opted by Cyril SMITH. Around 1995 WILD was elected to the Committee of Age Concern, Rochdale, and the following year became Chairman. In 1995 Cyril SMITH wrote to PRICE asking him to provide a written reference to support WILD’s nomination for the MBE. PRICE confirmed his previous work, and the following year WILD received his MBE. PRICE stated that WILD always sought positions that gave his [sic] respectability and that Cyril SMITH always promoted WILD’s rapid rise within any committee he sought to join.”
On Sylvia Kelly, who then ran Age Concern in Rochdale, the report says:
“Sylvia KELLY, when Chief Executive of Age Concern, Rochdale, was approached by Cyril SMITH with a request that she find suitable voluntary work for WILD within the organisation. She initially found WILD charming and was told by him that he had been proposed to be a Prison Visitor by Michael HOWARD, the then Home Secretary. He also told her that SMITH had told him to get a ‘gong’ by getting involved in a charitable organisation such as ‘Age Concern’. Once WILD became a committee member his attitude changed and he made it clear that he wanted people out of the organisation. WILD quickly introduced an associate of his… to the organisation… WILD made life very, very difficult for KELLY and she resigned about the same time as WILD got his MBE. WILD himself resigned shortly after getting the award.
“When being interviewed, Mrs KELLY intimated that she suspected that WILD had used Age Concern money to pay for a legal bill which she thought he had incurred and that an invoice had been sent to his home address by a firm of solicitors in Manchester, and that this somehow had been put through Age Concern’s accounts. This prompted further enquiries into the affairs of Age Concern in order to establish if a fraud had been committed.”
“No documentation or evidence was found to suggest that WILD had committed fraud whilst at Age Concern, Rochdale.”
The inquiry plans to publish a report on its “Rochdale” investigation by next April.
One of Smith’s close friends who was later implicated was a councillor and Freemason called Harry Wild, who chaired the education committee.
Where were the other councillors in all this? Why did they allow it, when they had a fair idea of how Smith, and Wild, were behaving? Why could the decent ones not manage to stop it? How many others of them were part of Smith’s paedophile network, and swung the voting, or succumbed to his forceful personality or simply accepted bribes? Predictably, Smith dominated Knowl View as he had Cambridge House, and used it as his personal brothel, shared with his friends, including the 21 men the GMP interviewed – who were they? Who was visiting Knowl View, which was functioning in the same way as Bryn Estyn in Wrexham? Councillor Harry Wild, chair of governors and of social services, was one, named along with Smith as at least voyeurs by Martin Digan, soon after Digan started working at Knowl View; and also at various times by the police. Teacher David Higgins was another, as we shall see.
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