Cameron and Clegg accused of cover-up over Smith files
The Cabinet Office refused five requests from the Mail on Sunday to release hitherto secret files, which reveal that then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was told of allegations that the Liberal MP had indecently assaulted boys in the 1960s.
The documents, which also show Thatcher ignored advice that awarding a knighthood to Smith risked "damaging the integrity of the honours system", were only released after the newspaper threatened to take the matter to the High Court.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk said the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister "have colluded in covering this up", adding: "It involves their people and we should not have to learn about this piecemeal because of journalists pestering for information."
This morning, Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone said it was incumbent on her department not to withhold files relating to Smith's crimes.
"Clearly, as far as I can tell from what’s been out there, there is a real issue, and those Cabinet files, in my view, should without doubt be published," she told Sky News' Murnaghan programme.
"We have to get to the bottom of this. High or low, it doesn’t matter – wherever we find it, we have to root out sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation."