Police have revealed for the first time that the late politician Cyril Smith (pictured) sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s.
The former Liberal MP, who weighed up to 20 stone, is believed to have preyed on children in the 1960s, according to detectives.
Smith, who was elected to Parliament in 1972, was dogged by rumours of abuse throughout his career but charges were never brought.
Both Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service said that if Smith had been accused today he would be charged and prosecuted.
A GMP spokesman said: "The force is now publicly acknowledging that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith.
"Three separate files regarding Cyril Smith's actions were passed to first the director of public prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service, although on each occasion no prosecution was pursued."
Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, said he was pleased the police files on Smith had come to light.
"What we now know is that Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary were convinced that Smith was guilty of sexual abuse and no cover-up accusations can be laid at their door," he said.
"Officers who were involved in the investigation are extremely angry that he got away with this kind of behaviour for so long and while today's announcement cannot result in Smith being put in the dock or erase the painful memories of humiliation for victims that Smith caused, I hope it will bring a small measure of comfort in knowing that the police believed victims were telling the truth and did their best to prosecute Smith."