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Contrarian Prize Lecture

Winner of the 2015 Contrarian Prize MP Simon Danczuk MP delivered a powerful lecture about child sex abuse to a Cass audience at Aldersgate.

Winner of the 2015 Contrarian Prize MP Simon Danczuk MP delivered a powerful lecture about child sex abuse to a Cass audience at Aldersgate.

The Rochdale MP was introduced by Dean Marianne Lewis who said that having debates outside the sphere of business “exemplifies Cass”.

She said: “It exemplifies the opportunities we have. We can fuel conversations and debates. Events like tonight broaden our view.

“Simon and the Contrarian Prize teach us – they remind us that individual effort and single voices matter.”

DanczukMr Danczuk discussed the Rochdale child grooming scandal and the wider allegations of the so-called Westminster-VIP paedophile ring that have rocked the British establishment.            

Mr Danczuk compared the sexual abuse and silencing of working class boys by Cyril Smith in the 1960s to the sexual abuse and silencing of teenage girls by gangs of men in the town, uncovered more recently.

He said: “My role was to champion [my constituents’] voices. But not every MP has acted on the information they have been given. There is a hidden scandal and it needs exposing.

“I think [Lowell] Goddard is the right person to get on with this inquiry. This is a watershed moment for Britain: it’s time we stood up collectively to abusers.

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. We are witnessing social change. Survivors of sexual abuse will no longer be silenced.”

The Contrarian Prize seeks to recognise individuals in British public life who demonstrate “independence, courage and sacrifice”. All nominations come directly from the public and are considered by a diverse panel of judges that are all highly-respected within their respective fields.

Simon said: “When I was told I had won the award I wasn’t quite sure what to make of being labelled a ‘contrarian’ – a troublemaker. But I don’t think Parliament would do a good job if there were 650 MPs like me.”

The prize was presented to Mr Danczuk by the renowned broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, earlier this year, and the annual lecture provides a platform to the winner of the prize to speak about a topic of their choice that highlights the principles of independence, courage and sacrifice.

Read about Mr Danczuk's comments in The Independent.

See what was tweeted at #cprize.

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