– Chilling claims that Cyril Smith child abuse scandal was concealed to avoid crisis at Westminster (Daily Mail, Nov 23, 2012):
For a monthly newspaper published from a cellar by two idealistic young college lecturers, the scoop on the front page of the tiny Rochdale Alternative Press in May 1979 was truly sensational.
Known as RAP, the newspaper, which cost nine pence and was distributed by volunteers in pubs, devoted its entire cover to a story headlined: Strange Case of Smith the Man. Inside, across two pages, the report detailed — in harrowing, graphic terms — the systematic sexual abuse of young boys at a children’s home set up by local dignitaries and funded by the Lancashire town’s Rotary Club. But what really created a stir was the man identified as the chief paedophile: Cyril Smith.
Elected as the local Liberal MP in 1972, a position he held for the next 20 years, the 29-stone 50-year-old was as famous for his weight as his political views.