LONDON — A current member of Britain’s House of Lords “violated, raped, and tortured” children inside the Houses of Parliament, it was claimed last night in one of the most shocking accusations yet to be heard in the country’s growing VIP sex-abuse scandal.
Britain’s public prosecutor ruled earlier this year that similar cases of sexual assault should not be brought against the alleged perpetrator, Lord Janner, because he was suffering from dementia. Police recommended the Labour Lord face trial on charges of six rapes and 16 sexual assaults alleged to have taken place between 1969 and 1998, but prosecutors decided the 86-year-old was unfit to stand trial.
The alleged child-abuse victims, some of whom say they were attacked by Janner as boys, say they believe the politician is being protected as part of an establishment cover-up, designed to protect Britain’s rich and powerful from the full force of the law, which continues to this day.
The horrific scale of sexual abuse against children carried out by powerful figures in British public life was laid bare last month, when police officers disclosed that they were investigating allegations against 76 politicians and almost 250 “persons of public prominence.” More than 100,000 alleged attacks have been catalogued by detectives since the police launched a series of inquiries into sexual abuse by people in positions of power.
Despite the public inquiry and police investigations, campaigners argue that British leaders are still trying to hide the worst of the abuse that has been perpetrated against children and teenagers over decades. Britain’s libel and defamation laws, which are some of the fiercest in the world, have also prevented victims from speaking out against their attackers.
Simon Danczuk, a Labour member of Parliament, used the legal shelter provided by the House of Commons on Tuesday night to publicly accuse Janner of sexually abusing young boys—without the risk of being sued.
“I have met 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,” he said. “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. His victims need the truth and they need to be heard.”
Danczuk and his staff have interviewed a number of Janner’s alleged victims. “I cannot overstate the effect that this abuse has had on their lives,” he said.
Janner denies any wrongdoing.
Last year, the MP for Leicester published a book that described decades of sexual abuse by Sir Cyril Smith, who was also never prosecuted for his crimes against young boys.
According to the book, in some instances, detectives were told they must stop investigating Smith; in others prosecutors decided it was not “in the public interest” to put one of the country’s best-known politicians on trial for raping teenage boys.
In the case of Janner, Danczuk says Leicestershire police have compiled evidence on 22 alleged sexual assaults, which they passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
“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,” he said. “I know the police are furious about this and rightly so. Anyone who has heard the accusations will be similarly outraged.”
A cross-party group of MPs called on prosecutors to reconsider the decision in April. In a letter to The Times of London, they wrote: “As long as justice is not seen to be done and the greater public interest is not served, the public will see attempts to investigate establishment figures involved in historic child abuse as a whitewash.”
It has since emerged that Janner, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, used his own car and his own Lords security pass to attend the Houses of Parliament on official business as recently as last June, months after his lawyers told police that he was too sick to be questioned over the alleged sex attacks.
One of Janner’s alleged victims, Paul Miller, 53, said he had been hand-picked by the politician for a trip to London. At the time, Greville Janner was a Leicester MP and Miller was a 9-year-old who lived in an orphanage.
Miller has given a statement to police detailing the way he was treated. He described the events to The Sunday Express: “Janner met us outside the Commons and gave us all a guided tour of the place. I was enthralled until he pounced on me in the chapel.”
Now a father who has battled depression and alcoholism, Miller said he was too scared to tell staff members about the attack at the time. Now that he is willing to speak out, it seems his fears about being ignored were well-founded.
“I will stand up before any public inquiry. I have nothing to hide. I will say that I think Janner is still being protected from justice,” he says.