A criminal investigation is to be launched into an alleged cover-up of child abuse at a school in Rochdale linked to Sir Cyril Smith.
The Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010, is alleged to have used his status to sexually abuse young boys with impunity at Knowl View School.
Despite numerous previous allegations and past police investigations Smith and other suspects have never been prosecuted.
A separate investigation is on-going to identify suspects who took part in the alleged abuse.
Now police say they are to investigate alleged corruption by officers and local politicians as part of a cover-up of what was going on at the time.
The inquiry has been sparked by Labour’s Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk who claimed in a recently published book that Smith, the town’s former Liberal Democrat MP, raped a number of young boys at the residential school.
Police, spies and politicians helped to hide the historical child abuse carried out by Smith, according to Mr Danczuk’s book, Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith.
The 29-stone politician was left free to abuse children as young as eight despite 144 complaints by victims, Mr Danczuk and co-author Matthew Baker said.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett said: “The investigation will now seek to identify whether any offences have been committed in the way that previous reports of abuse were handled or allegedly covered up.
“The main concerns relate to the response to child abuse over several decades connected to Knowl View School in Rochdale.”
Mr Danczuk said: “I welcome the fact that GMP are taking what’s in our book seriously. It is clear to me that crimes have been committed, though I hope the police will prioritise the arrests of abusers who are still alive over whether council officers covered this up. That is what the victims have told me is their priority.”
Fourteen suspects have been questioned as part of the sexual abuse inquiry into Knowl View, relating to alleged offences committed between 1969 and 1990.
The claims relate to alleged abuse of pupils by adults, but also among the boys themselves.