David Steel

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Deskdiary | 08:42 Wed 26th Feb 2020 | News
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David Steel knew about Cyril Smith's child abuse, yet did not report it to the police.

Is there a criminal case to answer here?


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ich - // I doubt if he’ll beat himself up over it too much: he certainly shouldn’t. In hindsight he made an error of judgment, but lots of people do that. //

To put it like that makes it sound like he went out for sherry and came back with port.

His 'error of judgement' meant that dozens, possible hundreds of children continued to be abused, and although in absolutely fairness, he maybe could not have prevented it continuing, his lack of action certainly facilitated Smith in his vile practices.

If Lord Steele ( is he just Mr Steele now?) has anything of a conscience, he will endure some of the sleepless nights that Smith's victims will endure until death releases them.
Nobody addressed my post. Did Smith confess to Steel? If so, when?
Barry, a report in 2019 said that there was no such confession. I don't know anything about today's assertion.
Thank you, Nical. I have found no evidence of a confession so I was confused by this post
Andy Hughes:
What Lord Steel did was recommend Smith for a knighthood, or at least fail to prevent him being recommended.
I don’t see how that he’d to the continuation of whatever Smith was up to. Had he stopped the knighthood (which he should have done) it would not have made any difference to that.
As I’ve already explained, what Steel knew was that Smith had been investigated years before. And not charged with anything, for whatever reason. As far as we know that was all he knew. So it’s extremely unfair to lay that sort of accusation at his door. It sounds like an attempt to apportion blame by proxy, to me
If my memory serves, some years ago, an investigative reporter was visited by Special Branch, he had been investigating Cyril Smith.
They took away his notes and threatened him with prison under the Official Secrets Act if he pursued his story.
Steele has no integrity.
Like most of the elite who rule us.
He certainly has no E on the end of his name whatever else he lacks :-)
But even if your unsubstantiated memory is correct, that’s to do with Smith not Steel.
barry1010; if you search 'David Steel knew of Cyril Smith's crimes' (as I have just done') you will see a report from the Mail that Steel confirms that, during a brief conversation between the two, Smith did indeed confess to the abuse. However, Steel took no action because he believed Smith was no longer abusing the boys. The article is dated 14 March 2019, the day after Steel was initially suspended.
Ken, according to the BBC Steel later said that claim was 'scurrilous hearsay'. Steel actually said:
Steel told the inquiry he questioned Smith about the allegations during a meeting in the House of Commons. “What I said to him was: ‘What’s all this about you in Private Eye?’

“He said, rather to my surprise, ‘It is correct’ that he had been in charge of or had some supervisory role in a children’s hostel, that he’d been investigated by the police, and that they had taken no further action, and that was the end of the story,” the peer said.

So that to me is not an admission of guilt. It is admission only that he was investigated by the police who took no further action.
To many "grassing up" on a friend or colleague is a greater misdemeanour that keeping shtum.
Khandro - // To many "grassing up" on a friend or colleague is a greater misdemeanour that keeping shtum. //

Sadly that is so, and that kind of skewed thinking allows abuse like Smith's to flourish.

I knew that Eye had reported about Smith during his lifetime but hadn't realised quite how long ago!
I like the side panel on that link. All the cabinet ministers are poodles! Love it!
You've gotta love Private Eye, from the link:
'Chinese emperor offers to help rebuild Rome in a day...'

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