in the back
A Janner in the works
In other news , Issue 1519
greville-janner.jpg
The late Lord Janner, who is to get a whole section of the IICSA inquiry to himself
ONE name missing from the comprehensive report on allegations relating to Westminster and politicians from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA, Eye 1517) was that of Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West from 1974-1997, and then on the Labour benches in the Lords until his death in 2015.

This is because Janner is, uniquely, getting a whole section of the inquiry to himself – strictly speaking, “an inquiry into the institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone”.

After several delays, the hearings into Janner are due to begin in October – despite press reports in February that chair Alexis Jay was poised to call them off. However, Janner’s son Daniel, a criminal QC at 187 Fleet Street Chambers, was last month “de-designated” as a core participant in proceedings, after failing to provide “a clear and unambiguous denial” that he had discussed confidential legal documents disclosed to him ahead of the hearing with journalists.

Judicial review
Daniel Janner and his sisters, Marion and Laura, have maintained their father’s innocence through the 22 criminal charges brought against Lord Janner in 2015, the abandonment of that trial due to his dementia and subsequent death, and the following year’s review by retired judge Richard Henriques which concluded that opportunities to try him on similar charges had been missed in 1991, 2002 and 2007. They have used the fact that Carl Beech wove their father into his web of fantasy accusations about a non-existent Westminster paedophile ring as evidence to suggest he was entirely innocent, glossing over the awkward fact that the police investigations happened before Beech came to public prominence as “Nick” (Eye 1502).

Daniel Janner has repeatedly threatened IICSA with judicial review to prevent it investigating issues around his late father. In September last year, he told the BBC he objected to the dedicated strand on the grounds that his father “was never convicted in his life… He cannot answer back, so he can’t fight these allegations” – something which applies equally to former MP Cyril Smith, Bishop Peter Ball, various monks at Ampleforth and any number of other figures considered by Professor Jay and her colleagues.

The recent alleged confidentiality breaches relate to papers circulated ahead of a preliminary hearing in February, held to consider how the inquiry could safeguard the anonymity of a participant who alleges abuse by Lord Janner. One option was to cancel the full hearings altogether, although Jay rejected this in favour of holding certain sessions behind closed doors – but with core participants allowed to attend. Daniel Janner, however, will not be among them.

Access revoked
At the February hearing Slater & Gordon, the legal firm representing several complainants against Janner, informed the inquiry that a “prominent journalist” had told it that “Daniel Janner is going around saying to everyone in the media that the inquiry is going to be scrapped”. Having “declined to make a voluntary statement about his contact with journalists”, Janner was served with notice that he had to do so, whereupon he failed to deny the accusation to Jay’s satisfaction. He also complained about the “procedural fairness” of the process – and announced he wanted to resign his privileged status anyway.

Jay has now revoked Janner’s access to disclosure documentation from the hearings, warning him that “his confidentiality undertaking in the past” still applies to “information he obtains in future from his core participant sisters”.

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SPACE ISSUES
The chancellor’s budget announcement of £900m to boost big ticket science projects was welcomed. Shame it included pledges already announced.

A SORRY TALE
A vanishingly rare libel case in which a pro-Putin Russia Today hack and a Times columnist both agree to, er, say how sorry they are to one another!

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WARRIOR WORRY
Trouble looms as the army decides to start manufacturing a new Warrior infantry fighting vehicle before test vehicles have completed their trials.

EXPLOSIVE SITUATION
Chester University’s science park is told to shut its education facilities because it sits in the danger zone of one of the UK’s biggest oil refineries.

To read all these stories in full, please buy issue 1519 of Private Eye - you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 22nd April 2020
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