Leicestershire and the Met Police have re-opened their investigation into historic child sex abuse allegations against Greville Janner,the Labour peer and former Labour MP for Leicester North West and Leicester West until 1997. I report the full story in Exaro News.
Until now it had been assumed that the police had dropped their inquiries after it was reported that the 86 year old peer was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and would be unfit to stand trial should the Crown Prosecution Service consider he should face charges.
The CPS has advised the police to continue their investigation so that it can decide whether charges are warranted. If Janner’s lawyers claim that he is too ill to face trial, prosecutors would insist on an independent medical assessment, and would potentially leave it for a court to decide whether he is fit enough. The investigation is called ” Operation Enamel.”
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police said “Operation Enamel is still an active investigation, and enquiries are still very much ongoing.”
The decision by both police forces to continue the investigation comes as police all over the country are stepping up inquiries into child sex abuse – both in the past and current cases – since Theresa May, the home secretary, announced the setting up of an independent panel into child sexual abuse covering a wide number of institutions. The police know they will be one of the bodies under scrutiny when the panel starts collecting evidence.
The investigation into Greville Janner is bound to be controversial since he was heavily defended by Labour colleagues when during the 1991 trial of Frank Beck,a warden for children’s homes in Leicestershire, and now a convicted paedophile Janner was named as having engaged in a sexual relationship with a teenage boy. Janner ferociously denied the allegations. A friend of his, who worked closely with him at the time, told me only last week that he did not believe the allegations could be true and had no knowledge about them.
Among Janner’s biggest supporters included former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock,Derek Foster, then Labour chief whip, passed on “tremendous support” from the party’s leader, Neil Kinnock to Mr Janner.
Keith Vaz, a Leicester MP and now chair of the Commons home affairs committee, was also one of Janner’s greatest supporters saying he was ” a brave man ” in handling the situation.
Vaz is now playing a big role in scrutinising the setting up of child sex abuse inquiry, by quizzing supporters and opponents of the present inquiry and intending to hold Theresa May to account over the present blunders in appointing a chair to the inquiry.
I did email Keith Vaz about his support for Janner and his role as a solicitor in two other London boroughs, Richmond and Islington now the subject of child sex abuse allegations, but he never replied.