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Lib Dem peer quits the House of Lords for covering up for a paedophile

(52 Posts)
Languishingfemale Tue 25-Feb-20 15:45:14

Finally a Lib Dem politician has accepted some responsibility for their shameful covering up the activities of a paedophile.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8042803/Ex-Liberal-leader-David-Steel-QUITS-Lords-child-abuse-inquiry-criticism.html

To be fair, all political parties have been criticised: A consistent pattern that has emerged from the evidence we have heard is a failure by almost every institution to put the needs and safety of children who have survived sexual abuse first

Shame on the lot of them.

OP’s posts: |
littlbrowndog Tue 25-Feb-20 15:53:40

Steele should have gone years ago. He knew about. He did nothing

littlbrowndog Tue 25-Feb-20 15:54:45

I see the greens and David challnor was also mentioned

nibdedibble Tue 25-Feb-20 15:56:59

I am really disgusted by his behaviour, even more so as I have met DS through a family connection and my relative speaks of him with great respect and humour. I will not be accepting that in future.

Mockersisrightasusual Tue 25-Feb-20 15:59:30

He's still moaning that he's a scapegoat because Smith is dead. Steele nominated him for a knighthood. After Thorpe, the party did not want another scandal.

Ye Gods.

10FrozenFingers Tue 25-Feb-20 16:06:24

He's already been investigated once. The police heard the same allegations and took no action. Of course he should have done something - but the police are far more to blame than he is for allowing Smith to go free.

littlbrowndog Tue 25-Feb-20 16:10:43

People
Can’t believe that their friend is a child sex abuser

They refuse to see the evidence

they don’t believe the child

If he had spoken up more children would not have been sexually abused

He did not speak up,

And it’s still happening.

10FrozenFingers Tue 25-Feb-20 16:19:49

He read about it in Private Eye.

Private Eye had been investigating Smith for years and turned over all they had to the police. The police spoke to Smith.

Apparently he admitted it.

The police did nothing.

Don't blame Steele of the inadequacies of the police. They were in a position to act and didn't.

R0wantrees Tue 25-Feb-20 16:23:44

He's still moaning that he's a scapegoat because Smith is dead. Steele nominated him for a knighthood. After Thorpe, the party did not want another scandal.

LibDems have a massive one brewing.
Its telling that they 'dont want scandals' rather than they 'do want Child Protection & Safeguarding'.
This might be at the heart of the problem.

Melroses Tue 25-Feb-20 16:24:03

Don't blame Steele of the inadequacies of the police. They were in a position to act and didn't.

As is always the case, multiple people turned a blind eye. I am pretty sure most of the Liberal Party knew - it wasn't as if there were that many in parliament.

picklemewalnuts Tue 25-Feb-20 16:27:33

I was shocked by this. Somehow some recent news stories had led me to think it was not as widespread as it seems to have been. I'm frustrated by my own ability to forget.

R0wantrees Tue 25-Feb-20 16:27:43

He's already been investigated once. The police heard the same allegations and took no action. Of course he should have done something - but the police are far more to blame than he is for allowing Smith to go free.

They have different responsibilities.
When adults in responsible positions endorse men who represent a significant risk to children &/or Vulnerable Adults this impacts Safeguarding in many ways.

RoyalCorgi Tue 25-Feb-20 16:30:51

Wow, that took a long time. Glad it happened finally.

R0wantrees Tue 25-Feb-20 16:36:41

from the article in OP
"But Lord Steel admitted last year he failed to pass on the allegations against the extrovert Rochdale MP even though he believed them to be true, because it was 'past history'.

The peer, party leader until 1988, later recommended Smith for a knighthood and the violent predator went on to represent the Lancashire town for the Liberal Democrats until 1992. (continues)

But a representative of some of Smith's victims blasted his attitude. Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: '(Lord) Steel's total inaction after being told by Smith himself that he had molested young boys is unforgivable, most of all for those victims whose abuse he could have stopped.

'To suggest Steel is a scapegoat, as some have done, is grasping at straws - a pathetic attempt to excuse a man who admitted he knowingly turned a blind eye to Smith's crimes.

'He is not being blamed for them but for his own failure to stop Smith when he had the chance.'

Today the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) criticised Lord Steel as it said the political establishment in Westminster 'repeatedly failed to deal with allegations of child sexual abuse', covering up claims and protecting high-profile MPs including Smith"
(continues)

RoyalCorgi Tue 25-Feb-20 16:38:43

If anyone wants to read the IICSA report itself, it's here:

www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/17579/view/allegations-child-sexual-abuse-westminster-investigation-report-25-february-2020.pdf

P.141 deals with the Challenor case for those interested.

R0wantrees Tue 25-Feb-20 16:46:16

Thank you for the link RoyalCorgi

This from the executive summary sticks out:

*Several cross-cutting themes recurred throughout the investigation. One is the theme of ‘deference’ by police, prosecutors and political parties towards politicians and others believed to have some importance in public life. Another concerns differences in treatment
accorded to wealthy or well-connected people as opposed to those who were poorer, more deprived, and who had no access to networks of influence. A third relates to the failure by almost every institution to put the needs and safety of children first. The police paid little regard to the welfare of sexually exploited children. Political parties showed themselves, even very recently, to be more concerned about political fallout than safeguarding; and in some cases the honours system prioritised reputation and discretion in making awards, with little or no regard for victims of nominated persons.*

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Tue 25-Feb-20 17:15:51

Plus ça change.

I’m almost speechless reading Steel’s own words -

During one hearing, Lord Steel denied 'hiding his head in the sand' over child abuse allegations against Smith, but said he 'assumed' the former Rochdale MP had abused teenagers at a hostel dating back to the 1960s.

He told the inquiry: 'These allegations all related to a period some years before he was even an MP and before he was even a member of the party, therefore it did not seem to me that I had any position in the matter at all.

'He accepted the story was correct. Obviously I disapproved but as far as I was concerned it was past history.'

I’m blown away by the fact that even now, he doesn’t seem to have any understanding of child abuse at all. He “disapproved”, as if it was just some minor indiscretion! And the fact that he didn’t think it counted because it had happened before Smith became an MP. It’s the complete absence of understanding that this should automatically debar someone from being an MP, from all public life altogether that leaves me gobsmacked. And he even nominated him for a knighthood knowing what he did.

There’s another stunning piece of minimisation - 'Knowing all I know now, I condemn Cyril Smith's actions towards children.‘

He can’t even say the word abuse, can he? Head in the sand. Absolutely revolting. No wonder the Lib Dems of today are such a shitshow. Look at their antecedents.

Languishingfemale Tue 25-Feb-20 18:03:20

It's depressing isn't it? The same outcomes time after time - and being repeated as we watch at the moment. The perceived rights and demands of adults being prioritised over children as I write this.

OP’s posts: |
Languishingfemale Tue 25-Feb-20 18:03:56

"over the safety and welfare of children" that should say

OP’s posts: |
Clymene Tue 25-Feb-20 18:53:21

I heard a man on PM telling Evan Davies that the past was a different county and the banking scandal harmed more people than the cover up of institutional paedophilia did. I don't know who he was but I can't bear to listen again to find out because I'm afraid of my rage.

Doobigetta Tue 25-Feb-20 18:54:19

It’s so disappointing. In every other way, Steel was an absolute giant- incredibly intelligent and I still believe an honest and decent man. But this. This blows all of that out of the water. Such an unforgivable failure, that will deservedly overshadow all the good he did.

picklemewalnuts Tue 25-Feb-20 19:02:58

@Clymene, I heard that. He'll cringe when he realises what he said, I hope.

littlbrowndog Tue 25-Feb-20 19:09:47

Agree Lang

Where is he saying sorry for the children permanently damaged by being sexually abused.

He knew about it. He knew

Clymene Tue 25-Feb-20 19:14:29

I hope so but @picklemewalnuts but I'm not convinced. There are a lot of people who seem to think that things were different in those days and what's done is done, blah blah.

No one thinks of the children who were abused, just the abuser's career.

I listened to an interview with one of Weinstein's victims after that and the way that men who didn't actually perpetrate abuse but were prepared to ignore it for an easy life was a common thread in both interviews.

Men basically will sacrifice women and children to protect the career of another man when it is politically expedient. They do not consider us equal human beings; that much is very clear.

ListeningQuietly Tue 25-Feb-20 20:40:49

David Steel should have been thrown out of the party by Jo Swinson
Cyril Smith should have been thrown out of the party by David Steel
Aimee Challenor should never have been allowed to join the party

so much navel gazing
so little awareness

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