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Janner 'abuse in Parliament'

Published 23/06/2015

Lord Janner's family have rejected the allegations against him
Lord Janner's family have rejected the allegations against him

Lord Janner allegedly abused children in the Houses of Parliament, an MP has claimed.

Labour's Simon Danczuk said he had met Leicestershire Police, who were investigating abuse allegations against the peer, and heard how children were "violated, raped and tortured - some in the very building in which we now sit".

Labour suspended Lord Janner in April when the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced he would not stand trial for historic sex abuse allegations because of the ''severity'' of his dementia.

Addressing the allegations against the peer during a Westminster Hall debate on the CPS, Mr Danczuk said he had discussed the allegations with police which involved children "being violated, raped and tortured - some in the very building in which we now sit".

Mr Danczuk told MPs: "Returning to the case of Lord Janner, the shocking thing is that the CPS admits that the witnesses are not unreliable, it admits that Janner should face prosecution, but refuses to bring a case.

"I know the police are furious about this and rightly so.

"Anyone who has heard the accusations will be similarly outraged.

"I have met with Leicestershire Police and discussed the allegations in some detail. Children being violated, raped and tortured - some in the very building in which we now sit."

Mr Danczuk described the decision not to prosecute the peer as "offending every principle of justice", highlighting a Mail On Sunday report which claimed the peer has attended Parliament on official visits since being declared unfit to stand trial.

The Rochdale MP, a long-time campaigner on historic abuse, said the courts could have held a fitness to plead process which would establish whether Lord Janner was fit to stand trial or not.

Mr Danczuk also said that if he is not fit to face prosecution, a trial of the facts could be held to help victims get some sense of justice.

He criticised Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders for saying such a process would not be in the public interest.

He told MPs: "If Lord Janner really is too ill to face prosecution, then why can't the courts establish this with a fitness to plead process? This would clear up doubts that still linger, for example, why he was still visiting Parliament on official visits after he was declared unfit to face justice.

"Why is he able to contribute to the lawmaking process in the House of Lords but unable to face the law himself?

"If it is found that he is genuinely too ill to stand trial then why not conduct a trial of the facts?

"This would allow the victims to tell their stories and gain some sense of justice.

"The DPP has said that a trial of the facts would not be in the public interest.

"Personally I fail to see how the knowledge that a peer of the realm is a serial child abuser is not in the public interest."

Mr Danczuk added: "The Director of Public Prosecutions has said that Lord Janner will not offend again but the failure to prosecute Lord Janner offends every principle of justice.

"He may not abuse again but the legacy of the abuse continues.

"Its victims need the truth and they need to be heard."

Meanwhile, former DPP Sir Keir Starmer defended Ms Saunders for her handling of "a stark and difficult choice" and praised her for referring the decision to the Victims' Right to Review Scheme, which means independent external barrister will examine her actions.

Sir Keir said: "The decision before the DPP was not an easy decision, it was a stark and difficult choice between two unattractive approaches.

"The DPP has followed the victim right of review policy and put that decision out for a review.

"And I think we should respect the independence she brought to the decision making and the fact that she has had the courage to put that decision out for a review and to that extent I think we should inhibit our comments on the case."

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said the CPS was taking action to prosecute historic sex abusers, including a number of "so-called celebrities" who have been convicted in recent years.

He said: "It is a national emergency, I entirely agree with you and so does the Government.

"And the way in which complainants were dealt with historically in towns such as Rotherham and the town that you represent was wrong.

"There was far too much of an emphasis upon the reliability of the individual, often very young and vulnerable witness, rather than an overall view of the merits of the case.

"That has been quite rightly acknowledged to have been an incorrect approach.

"And I think that the thrust of the work that is being carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service now very much reflects the fact that those lessons have clearly been learned and that there are a number of marked successes when it comes to convictions in cases of that nature.

"A number of so called celebrities who have quite rightly been brought to justice and of course a number of larger conspiracy-based cases involving many, many young and vulnerable complainants and young victims who now have had their voice heard and who now can see that some justice has been brought in order to help them get on with their lives that have been torn asunder by the abuse that they suffered."

Mr Danczuk's comments come a day after he claimed to have urged Ed Miliband to kick Lord Janner out of the Labour Party last year after police told him of "stomach churning" abuse allegations against the peer.

The CPS has said it will review its decision not to charge Greville Janner following a public outcry when it ruled out pursuing him.

The 86-year-old was accused of a string of offences during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s but was deemed unfit to stand trial.

Justice Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge leading an independent inquiry into child sex abuse, said she would investigate claims against Lord Janner and could even call him to give evidence.

The peer's family strongly denies claims he used his power as an MP for Leicester to abuse vulnerable young boys at a local children's home.

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