It has been over a week since former Liberal Party leader Lord Steel was named by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, having been found to have “turned a blind eye” to abuse allegations involving Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Hours after the report was published, Steel released a statement announcing both his resignation from the Lib Dems and intention to resign as a member of the House of Lords too. He said he would leave “as soon as possible”…
Despite having introduced the Private Members Bill that allowed Lords’ resignations, Steel is still yet to resign or even announce a date for his formal resignation. Every day he remains a member, he is entitled to collect a tax-free £305-per-day salary. Guido’s repeated attempts to contact Lord Steel were not answered. When will he go?…
81 year-old Lord Steel has resigned from the Liberal Democrat party and will resign as a member of the House of Lords “as soon as possible” after admitting he was aware Cyril Smith was a child abuser. Good.
Giving evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) Lord Steel admitted under oath that Cyril Smith confessed to him in 1979 that the child abuse allegations against him were true. Steel admitted he still did nothing about it, and made no effort to investigate whether Smith posed any continuing risk to children. Despicable.
A year ago David Steel was evasive and lied to Evan Davies on Newsnight:
This was the point in his testimony that did for him:
UPDATE: As Esther Webber notes, he will only be able to retire from the Lords under rules set up by his own 2012 private member’s bill.
The Lib Dems suspended Lord Steel yesterday after his admission this week that Cyril Smith had confessed to him over the child abuse allegations in 1979 but scandalously did nothing about it. Now Labour’s Shadow Early Years Minister Tracy Brabin has written to Lord Steel calling for him to resign from the Privy Council. Read the letter below:
After admitting under oath to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that Cyril Smith confessed in 1979 to abusing boys, Lord Steel is in trouble. Jo Swinson says “The party has rightly begun a disciplinary investigation into Lord Steel following his revelations. Clearly this is incredibly serious and he should be suspended while this takes place.” LibDem HQ press office so far unable to confirm situation…
Today at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) Lord Steel has admitted under oath that Cyril Smith confessed to him in 1979 that the child abuse allegations against him were true. Steel admitted he still did nothing about it, and made no effort to investigate whether Smith posed any continuing risk to children. Despicable.
Yet on Newsnight last year Steel described the allegations as “scurrilous hearsay” and that he did not know if Cyril Smith was guilty of abuse. That can’t be compatible with what he said today. In In 1988 Lord Steel, know what he did, put Cyril Smith forward for a knighthood. Shameful.
UPDATE: See page 126 in the Inquiry transcript for detail.
David Steel on post-election priorities…
“We mustn’t start pushing Nick Clegg out the window until we’ve actually had the election.” Ok, not until then.