Rochdale’s still nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk is once again in the news over his unrivalled ability to lose friends and alienate people at a rate that puts the loathsome Toby Young in the shade. Spanker Si has reacted most unfortunately to the twin decisions of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to close their investigation on the now-defunct Knowl View care home, and the CPS’ leaving the number of people charged at just one.
As the Manchester Evening News told last month, “GMP launched a full criminal inquiry in July 2014 in the wake of a book by the town’s MP, Simon Danczuk, which detailed alleged widespread abuse at Knowl View, a residential school, by Cyril Smith and others … The book claimed there had been a cover up by Rochdale council and a failure by police to investigate persistent calims of abuse at the now closed Bamford school between the 1960s and 90s”. That was Smile For The Camera, co-written with Matt Baker.
The Police sent a file to the CPS; the CPS charged just one person, and no further action will be taken. So Danczuk has kicked off about this result, claiming it had been a “shabby investigation from beginning to end” and “it is my view that mistakes have been made”. This has gone down like the proverbial cup of cold sick with GMP.
Chief Inspector Ian Hanson has asserted “Yet again we see a Manchester MP launching an ill-informed attack upon police officers in an attempt to raise their own media profile … It is incredibly difficult to successfully prosecute offences that took place over 40 years ago and the investigation team have worked tirelessly in trying to piece together events that occurred in the 1960s and present enough evidence”. And there was more.
“From his comments I would assume Mr Danczuk is in possession of very specific information that backs up his comments. If that is the case then he should refer that information to the IPCC himself immediately”. Zelo Street regulars may at this point have experienced a feeling of déjà vu. Because we have been here before.
Smile For The Camera also made accusations against Northants Police, claiming that Cyril Smith had been stopped by the force on the M1 with a stash of child porn in his car - only to be let off as he was a “protected man”. Northants Police investigated the claim and found it to be baseless. Not only that, a Freedom of Information request made after the investigation closed revealed that the force had asked Danczuk and Baker what evidence they could provide in support of their claim - only to find they had none. At all.
So Danczuk and Baker, it seems, had invented the Northants Police episode. It also appears that there is more than a little invention in the part of the book that covers events at Knowl View. Of course, Spanker Si and his former sidekick could dispel this impression by ponying up that further evidence to GMP and the IPCC. But they won’t, because they don’t have any. They’ve sent the cops on another wild goose chase.
Much more of this and Smile For The Camera will have to be reclassified as fiction.