Peter McKelvie’s full comments on the Lord Janner case

Peter McKelvie’s unabridged comment for the Guardian article Greville Janner affair: Children’s homes inquiry evidence ‘must be released’.

“For all the incredibly brave survivors who have come forward re Janner, they deserve at the very least an explanation as to why the Kirkwood inquiry wasn’t made public and they certainly deserve the right to know everything that was heard behind closed doors then

The whole of Parliament needs to make a public apology for the standing ovation given to Janner
It is simply not possible that the Attorney General, the DPP, the hierarchies of the main parties/security services,as well as very senior Police Officers at  the time, did not know of what  Janner stood accused
This pattern is now glaringly obvious in the cases of Smith, Brittan , Morrrison, to name but a few, and will soon be revealed to apply to further protected politicians right up to Prime Minister level.

It is quite remarkable that the new Chair of the Independent Inquiry in to Institutional and Organised CSA had to justify her credentials to the Chair of the HASC, and be cross examined, when that person would have known the severity of the allegations facing Janner, has been a longstanding friend and confidante of Janner, even leading a campaign to clear his friend’s name in the 90’s and he failed to declare a conflict of interests and stand down as soon as Janner’s home and offices were raided by Police in 2013.”

 

Please also read this important article by Jay Rayner:
I saw up close how an establishment closed ranks over the Janner affair

The Observer, 19 April 2015

A little over 24 years ago, as a young freelance journalist on the Independent on Sunday, I telephoned the Leicester office of Raymonds News Agency and arranged for a reporter to cover an imminent pre-trial hearing at the city’s magistrates court. It was the sort of mundane hearing that would not normally trouble the media. A few days before, in a Leicester pub, I had met a solicitor’s clerk, to whom I had been introduced by a source on a previous story. The clerk told me that at the hearing a former children’s home manager called Frank Beck, who stood charged of sexually abusing the children in his care, would claim the man responsible for the offences was actually Leicester West’s long-standing MP, Greville, now Lord, Janner.

Events played out exactly as I had been told they would. At the hearing’s conclusion, Beck shouted out his claims and was duly wrestled to the floor by the clerk of the court, before being taken back to the cells. Rumours about Janner that had circulated in the city for some years were now recorded by the journalist I had placed there and thus out in the public domain.

Last week, the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced that the now 86-year-old Janner would not be facing any charges on the grounds that he was suffering from dementia and therefore unfit to stand trial. It required the CPS to add that “this decision does not mean or imply that… Janner is guilty of any offence”. In turn, Janner’s family issued their own statement praising the man’s “integrity” before adding: “He is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.”

However, in an exceptionally rare move, the CPS went on to detail the exact charges Janner would have faced had he been deemed well enough: the 22 sex offences, alleged to have taken place from 1969 to 1988, involving nine children and young adults then cared for in children’s homes. These ranged from indecent assaults to buggery. What’s more, Saunders admitted Janner should have been charged in 1991 and that there were two further missed opportunities in 2002 and 2007 when the “evidential test was passed”, meaning there was a realistic prospect of conviction.

Saunders has now appointed a high court judge to investigate the failings, though, if he likes, I can tell him now what went wrong and spare him the trouble.

The establishment, in the shape of his fellow MPs, men such as Labour’s Keith Vaz, Tory David Ashby and the then Lib Dem MP now Lord Carlile, closed ranks. Janner was a barrister and MP, a man who campaigned for justice for the victims of the Holocaust. It simply couldn’t be true. That Frank Beck was eventually found guilty of horrendous abuse charges and sent to prison (where he later died of a heart attack) aided them. Clearly Beck had been trying to save his own skin. The possibility that Janner had also been guilty didn’t seem to occur to them.

Faced by stories of cover-ups around paedophiles such as MPs Cyril Smith and Thatcher’s henchman Peter Hayman, hindsight can make it tough to get a handle on how such conspiracies functioned. Who covered up for whom? Did everybody collude to do so? What was the mechanism? Sometimes, as we can with the Janner case, you simply have to play the tape forward.

All reporters have stories that get away from them. The Janner story is mine. At the pub meeting, I was given copies of letters from Janner to one of his alleged victims. Only if you had been told a backstory do those letters look incriminating. They make arrangements to meet in hotels, talk of “mutual understanding” and sign off with expressions of “love”. My expectation was that these letters would be tested in court alongside other evidence.

Getting Beck’s shouted accusation about Janner suited my purposes. Since it happened in open court it put something on the record that at some point could be used in a story. While the Beck case was ongoing it was all sub judice and nothing further about Janner could be reported. The MP was also bound by the Contempt of Court Act. The moment Beck was found guilty, however, Janner declared in the House of Commons that there was “not a shred of truth in any of the allegations”.

What happened next was crucial. There was a (failed) parliamentary attempt to change the Contempt of Court Act to protect people named during proceedings in the way Janner had been. During the debate, many MPs, including Ashby and Carlile, spoke up for him. Key was Vaz, MP for the neighbouring Leicestershire constituency, who clearly hadn’t been party to the rumours circulating in his home town. He said his dear friend had been the “victim of a cowardly and wicked attack”. That was it. The story was dead. The Independent on Sunday was not a paper to be cowed by pressure from above, but it was simpler than that. Clearly Janner was set up. I don’t even recall being taken off the story. It was just never spoken of again.

Today, Vaz is chair of the Commons home affairs select committee. He enjoys portraying himself as a champion of the voiceless, happy to castigate the Home Office over its handling of the current investigation into child abuse. Last week, I asked Vaz via Twitter whether he had anything to say about Janner, given the CPS announcement. He responded by blocking me. He later unblocked me but, at the time of writing, has still not commented.

The temptation is to demand a law change to stop something like this happening again, but the law is perfectly adequate. It’s the way it has been exercised – or not exercised – that is at issue. In 1991, Janner consulted solicitor David Napley and the barrister George Carman, both now deceased. According to a source with knowledge of that meeting, Carman was astounded, based on what Janner had told him, that he was not later charged.

Leicestershire police are baffled now, too, and are apparently investigating ways of challenging the CPS decision. They even released a statement from an alleged victim. “If he was an everyday person with a normal life and job, justice would [have] been served,” he said. Curiously, it echoes Janner’s comments in 1997 about a man spared a trial for Nazi war crimes because of his age. “I am sorry that he was not tried while he was fit enough to stand,” he said. “There was absolutely no reason why he should have escaped charges forever.”

How was this allowed to happen? Perhaps it was simply force of personality, which I saw at first hand. In May 1992, Janner invited me to tea. I was intrigued. I knew people who worked for him and had been asking pointed questions. He must have known this. If so, he gave no indication. He cheerfully poured the tea, handed round sandwiches and talked light politics. He didn’t give the impression of a man who feared the judicial system catching up with him. As of last week, it never will.

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16 comments
  1. Peter. David Hencke said that Justice Goddard should make decision over Janner with her ” enquiry ” Hmmm
    If she fails to deliver on behalf of survivors then the whole enquiry should be binned

  2. Owen said:

    The Rayner article appears to be unrelated to Peter McKelvie, so perhaps this should be two separate posts.

    Also while in pedant mode, I hope you won’t mind me pointing out “confidant” here shouldn’t take a final “e” (being male).

  3. Owen said:

    It’s not clear why Rayner names Carlile among the speakers in the Janner debate (Vaz and Ashby were MPs for Leicester / Leicestershire constituencies).

    Carlile was commissioned to produce a report on abuse at St Benedict’s, Ealing, and to formulate safeguarding recommendations. For Jonathan West’s comments on the report see http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/carlile-report-summary.html

    “…

    He has made no suggestions for improvements whose purpose is (as he described in the report) “to use the lessons and failures of the past to ensure that such problems are avoided in the future”. The vast majority of the report is merely a rehashing of information, including other people’s recommendations, which was already in the public domain when he started his work.

    Carlile has introduced no new insight which wasn’t already known a year ago. If you don’t believe me, read the report again carefully for yourself.

    The mountain hath groaned and given forth a mouse.”

    The first comment under the post, by “seang”, doesn’t appear to offer a model of good practice for Goddard to follow.

  4. LIrving said:

    Senile dementia only affects your present day memory, you tend to remember your past.
    There are 22 sexual offences alleged to have taken place on 9 children and young adults, we are not talking about one alleged offence, we are talking about 22 offences, on 9 victims, surely the trial should go ahead.

      • Because she is a Shill bitch in the pay of the scum who have been raping children or protecting those that do and she and the rest of them need to seized, put on trial and then when convicted, EXECUTED.

        Now I am not a shill, troll or agent provocateur. I am someone who is simply calling it out.

        This is the point we have reached and it is time for survivors, activists and public to get a grip.

      • @men scryfa yes it’s pretty obvious and she connects to that disgusting spiked online and Tom o Carroll and the bogus. False memory bollocks. Who have connections to drug companies.

        I see that scum are putting on s disinformation event this year to discredit victims.

      • Well said Bob.

        You are definitely one of the good guys.

      • Bunch of rats they are on racoony island mate one day they will implode with any luck they are getting desparate as hell there and no one is buying their old crap. After all that effort too

  5. artmanjosephgrech said:

    Nothing in these comments can be interpreted that I making any comment on the issue of whether Lord Janner is guilty or not guilty on the matters which he was due to face. I make these comments on the basis that I am a member of the public where the DPP has determined it is not in my interest for a prosecution to proceed,

    The DPP appears confident that her decision will be upheld if legal challenge is possible and therefore the referral to Goddard appears the only option.

    But will Goddard be able to hear all the evidence in public? And how long before this could happen?
    Does the referral also include an investigation in to the role of present DPP? Does the inquiry into the role of the DPP set up my a retired Judge include that of the present DPP. Would it not be better for a separate judicial statutory inquiry to be established which could give priority to reviewing both the allegations against Lord Janner and the cover up and which should also include the recent role of Leicestershire Police, the appointed prosecutor and the DPP.

    What additional information/facts/ known to the DPP but not known when the appointed prosecutor judged that proceedings should take place.

    The DPP has disclosed that she went for advice but has not stated if she received representations in any form

    Do we know who is instructing solicitor and barristers in the Janner defence team?

    Do we know not just the names of the doctors who provide the assessment of his inability to plead but their experience and what were they asked to comment on

    Do we have the time a table of when the papers were first submitted to the DPP, dates of the consultations and representations and when defence lawyers were advised. At what point in this time table was letter seeking to remain in the House of Lords sent/
    Was he assessed unfit to plead and cope with a trial before or after this letter was sent.

    The same applies to any actions affecting his property. Were any changes put in hand before or after medical assessments were delivered

    Will the House of Lord investigate the application to participate in business including the Queens speech

    The present Home Secretary and Health Secretary have found a way to associate themselves with concerns but I have seen nothing from the Labour front bench Why?

    • @artman if goddard doesn’t deliver then her enquiry is sunk with zero creditibality
      That’s it.

      If she finds for victims the ” other side ” will cry foul.
      If she let’s him go free then it will seem like yet another establishment cover up

      Only a truly independent enquiry with legal powers and no establishment connection with lots of experience in this field can one move ahead on this

  6. Well done great dogged and determined work Peter.

    BUT. Unpalatable though this is to hear this needs to be said. The major weakness of the child abuse survivors campaign and that of their supporters and whistle blowers is the failure of the majority to recognize and understand that the rampant child abuse (i.e. child rape and sexual assault) in this country at the so-called ‘elite’ level and the consistent protection and concealment of it, is due to what can only be called a CONSPIRACY.

    Peter and may other dedicated investigators and activists are not going to succeed unless and until they face this fact head on and educate themselves to the extent that they can explain to others the exact extent and nature of the wider conspiracy (of which child abuse is only an incidental part).

    Otherwise this is just like watching the war on drugs. In this regard people like Bill Maloney are further ahead as they appreciate that it is not about the crimes of yesteryear but it is about the so-called ‘elite’ child abuse rings that are operating today and who they consist of and how they link into a much wider global conspiracy of pure evil.

    With respect when I hear Peter, Liz, Phil Frampton and many many others speaking out about this then I will know that they “get it” or get enough of the Truth in order to be truly part of the solution rather than just another part of the problem. I am sorry if this is unpopular but it needs to be put.

    I absolutely wholeheartedly support Liz’s commitment and dedication. She is a genuine and true lady of principle.

    However, these evil perpetrators feed off naivety and innocence. They exploit the moral and the vulnerable.

    Being frank setting up the white flowers campaign is well meaning but it is going to take at least 100 years to get anywhere. It is named after the campaign in Belgium. That campaign FAILED.

    Do you want to FAIL or DO YOU WANT TO WIN AND SEE THE EVIL DESTROYED?

    The choice is yours.

  7. Peter McKelvie said:

    With respect I am totally aware of the conspiracy and how high, wide and deep it is and was

  8. As may be.

    All I can say is that it was me who was stopped and threatened by armed Special Branch on the afternoon of 7 July 2014

    That was as you will no doubt recall the day Theresa May announced the ‘Independent Inquiry’.

  9. Chris said:

    I personally believe Grenville Janner is innocent. Accusations made so long after the alleged crimes cannot be believed.

    • Owen said:

      You stand in contradiction to what Janner himself, correctly, believed about war crimes. You are arguing that innocence is a rightful reward for influence and intimidation.

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