DETECTIVES investigating historic sex abuse allegations at a school linked to the late Sir Cyril Smith - prompted by revelations by an East Lancashire politician - have pinpointed 21 potential suspects.

Ten people have so far come forward to say they were abused at Knowl View residential school in Rochdale, of whom seven say they suffered at the hands of Smith.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, originally from Hapton and a former Blackburn councillor, made a number of allegations against his Liberal predecessor in his book Smile For The Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith.

Smith was also accused of physically abusing boys at the town’s Cambridge House Hostel, including former Rossendale mayor Coun Alan Neal, when he was secretary of Rochdale Hostel for Boys Association.

Three separate files regarding Smith's actions at Cambridge House were passed to the director of public prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service, although on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

Fourteen of the 21 suspects, including Smith, have been identified, according to detectives, as some victims remained unaware of the names of their attackers.