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Rochdale's MP today called for an investigaton into claims that Sir Cyril Smith abused residents at a boys’ hostel in the town in the 1960s.
Simon Danczuk used a debate in the Commons to highlight the allegations after former residents described how Smith made youngsters strip, fondled them and smacked their bare bottoms for punishment.
Two former residents of Cambridge House hostel in Rochdale have gone on the record for the first time to tell PoliticsHome.com how former Liberal MP Smith treated them as teenagers in the 1960s.
Barry Fitton, who was 15 at the time, said that the former Rochdale MP punished him by bending him over his knee and hitting his backside with his bare hand. Afterwards, Smith told him to lie on a bed and stroked his buttocks.
On another occasion, Smith subjected the teenager to a ‘medical’ that involved him feeling his thighs and testicles.
Another former resident, Eddie Shorrock, who was 17 at the time, described how Smith, who founded the hostel and had keys to its premises, also gave him a ‘medical’ whenever he took time off work. He was made to strip and display his genitals.
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Mr Danczuk raised the Smith accusations in the House of Commons during a backbench business debate on child abuse this afternoon.
Mr Danczuk said he had been passed statements given to the police in the 1970s, which made "grim reading", and urged the authorities to look again at the evidence.
"As new victims of abuse in Rochdale come forward to speak of what happened in Cambridge House, Greater Manchester Police should consider re-opening this case and I would call on the minister to do all in his powers to bring police files from previous investigations into Smith to light. For far too long, victims have not been taken seriously in our time, shocking allegations have not been challenged and people in roles of trust, power and authority have abused their position."
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