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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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A recently discovered press cutting shows that Peter Righton was questioned about indecent assaults on children by the Obscene Publications Squad in November 1994 – several months after the Hereford & Worcester investigation had been shut down, and after the BBC documentary Secret Life of a Paedophile had been broadcast. It can be assumed by the absence of any further news reports that he was never charged with an offence, despite clear evidence from his diaries including names and ages of victims, along with the name of the institution where he abused them. The November 1994 arrest took place in Eye, Suffolk – presumably at Lord Henniker’s estate, where he had been living since his 1992 arrest.

The Independent, 10th November 1994

A former lecturer on child social work is being questioned about indecent assaults on children. Scotland Yard’s Obsene Publications Squad arrested Peter Righton, 68, in Eye, Suffolk.

 

Peter McKelvie ( former Hereford & Worcester team manager) gives some background to the case:

“One of the many reasons I contacted Tom Watson MP in October 2012 was my anger and frustration that Peter Righton had been allowed to die with just one minor conviction for possession of indecent images of children when I knew how evil a web he had spun in full sight of leading social work agencies such as the National Children’s Bureau and the National Institute of Social Work not to mention the high regard he was obviously held in at the Department of Health

Much has been made of Savile being given the keys to Broadmoor

Righton didn’t need the keys, he could walk in to any children’s home or local authority boarding school in the UK on ” official business ”

I was given full access by West Mercia police to Righton’s diaries and letters which gave the clues to a large network of Paedophiles with “official ” access to children.
Unfortunately my team weren’t allowed to pursue these leads ourselves as the alleged offences occurred outside our statutory geographical boundaries
We had to pass all our relevant information on to other local authorities.
 With the full support of my then Director of Social  Services, David Tombs, I wrote a report for the Department of Health pleading for them to agree to fund and set up a “National Joint Social Worker/Police investigation team” so that we could pursue all the leads we had and go anywhere the evidence took us
Righton in his diaries had made the task of investigation relatively straightforward.
He had listed the names and ages of each boy he had abused from 1957 onwards in categories of which institution the victims had been resident at the time,and most sickeningly of all, had scored each child’s level of abuse from 1 ( touching) to 10 ( buggery )
My Director was prepared to release me and 2 of my social workers to be part of such a team if we were seen as suitable applicants
Nothing came of this request and this huge body of evidence against Righton fell in to a black hole
A small group of us, a very senior Police  Officer, two very experienced investigative journalists and myself met with a senior Opposition Party MP in 1994 to lodge a complaint and demand action.
We named MP’s that we believed might be involved in this organised network
Nothing came of that either

My Director David Tombs retired in 1994 and my team was closed down and disbanded virtually immediately afterwards.”

Dear Sir Tony,

You will no doubt be aware of the growing clamour, now joined by a cross-party group of over 40 MPs, for an Independent Hillsborough type Inquiry in to decades of organised abuse by networks that have infiltrated both the care system and the boarding school institutions of this country.

These networks include politicians, both national and local, from all political parties as well as residential social workers,police officers, teachers, judges, civil servants to name but a few.

You will no doubt be aware of the PMQ yesterday, 11th June, by Duncan Hames, until recently PPS to the Deputy Prime Minister, in which Mr.Hames asked for the Prime Minister’s support for such an Inquiry but Mr. Cameron felt that the Home Office had the situation under control and no further measure was required.

I am the retired Child Protection Team Manager who approached MP, Tom Watson, in October 2012, as a result of which Mr. Watson also asked a PMQ, on 24th October 2012 which subsequently led to the setting up of Operation Fernbridge by the Metropolitan Police.
You may recall that the PMQ involved the allegation that an elite paedophile ring had a link with No.10.

As you will know Operation Fernbridge is ongoing and I receive regular feedback on the progress of that investigation.

I would like to ask for your support as my local MP for an Independent Inquiry and would like an appointment with you please to discuss my reasons in much more detail.

On a website called Spotlightonabuse:The Past on Trial you will see my Open Letter to David Cameron, with copies to Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband and also their responses.
You will also see details of a meeting a close colleague, and acknowledged expert on child protection, and I had with Norman Baker, Minister of Justice at the Home Office on 15th May 2014.

I can forward you copies of all these documents at any point.

There are grounds to look closely at the behaviour of over 40 Members of the Commons and Lords, some living and some now dead, in connection with the actual abuse of very vulnerable children or with its cover up. This number is likely to grow during the course of a proper investigation.

I think the case against Cyril Smith and Peter Morrison is strong evidence of how easy it was for paedophiles to remain hidden within the corridors of power. Their cases are unfortunately the tip of the iceberg.

You are the ideal MP for me to approach not only because you are my constituent MP but because I understand that you are, according to your Wikipedia entry, “one of the last of those made a Minister by Margaret Thatcher still to be in the House of Commons”

The allegations I took to Tom Watson which resulted in the current Police investigations involve Mrs.Thatcher’s period as Prime Minister.
Many questions remain unanswered about a number of her key appointments and as her personal assistant in the 1974 General Election and, upon her becoming Leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, you joined her Private Office and so I must assume were very close to her and by definition some of the people I believe should be subject to an Independent Inquiry.
Your perspective could be extremely helpful.

The persistence of Mrs. Thatcher in pressing ahead with the Knighthood of Jimmy Savile despite opposition from her closest advisers, his alleged attendance at multiple private Chequers parties, his being granted the keys to Broadmoor in 1988, together with her appointment of Peter Morrison, a well known paedophile according to a number of fellow MPs, as her PPS raise many serious questions that need answering and only an Independent Inquiry on a Hillsborough based model will satisfy the electorate.

There are allegations against MPs of all parties under several different Governments and this is not a party political isue.

I can go in to much more detail in a face to face meeting but at this stage would ask for your support in joining the 40 plus MPs who have already pledged their support for an Independent Inquiry

Yours sincerely,

Peter McKelvie

 

Up to date list of MPs supporting an inquiry here