A CRIMINAL investigation, sparked by Hapton-born MP Simon Danczuk, 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 in Rochdale.

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 Mr Danczuk who claimed in a recently published book that Smith 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.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "Following the publication of MP Simon Danzcuk's book 'Smile for the Camera', GMP conducted an assessment of the allegations contained within that book. As a result of the assessment, GMP decided that a criminal investigation was required.”

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.”