Disgraced peer Lord Janner made secret official visits to Parliament several months after police were told he was too ill to be questioned over child abuse allegations, it can be revealed today.
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Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday show that the Labour politician was well enough to go to Westminster three times after medics said his dementia meant he could not be interviewed by detectives.
This newspaper’s investigation has found that after police were refused permission to quiz him about claims that he had sexually abused more than a dozen boys, he:
* Travelled in his own car to the House of Lords car park and used his personal security pass, suggesting he was at the wheel;
* Told authorities he was in Parliament on official business – even though it was not sitting at the time;
* Personally signed a cheque to cover the cost of his stay in a Westminster car park, after detailed correspondence with senior officials in the House of Lords.
The revelations will increase pressure on Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders, who said that Lord Janner would have been charged with 22 counts of indecent assault and buggery against nine boys, but that his dementia made him unfit to stand trial. And they raise questions about how thoroughly the police and CPS scrutinised his activities and the true state of his health.
Last night, Simon Danczuk, the campaigning MP who exposed Cyril Smith as a paedophile, said: ‘I was told by police that Lord Janner was alleging ill-health in April 2014, so he couldn’t be interviewed. To hear that he was on official parliamentary business two months later at the height of the police investigation is astonishing.
‘If the Crown Prosecution Service and police were aware of this then surely they would have taken a decision to interview him. How can Lord Janner be fit enough to be on official parliamentary business but not fit enough to answer questions about extremely serious crimes?’
The details of the former Leicester MP’s trips to Westminster are contained in a cache of letters obtained by this newspaper under Freedom of Information laws.
Records show that he made his final 12 appearances in the chamber of the House of Lords in December 2013, as police began to search his properties. He voted for the last time in November that year.
Lord Janner’s luxury home in Hampstead, North London, was raided in December 2013, and his Millbank office was searched in March 2014 by officers on Operation Enamel investigating claims he had abused boys in care when he was an MP in the 1970s and 1980s.
In April 2014, after making a request to interview him, police were told by medical experts that his Alzheimer’s was too severe for him to face questioning. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Lord Janner had first been diagnosed with dementia in 2009.
But now the House of Lords has confirmed he was there in May and June 2014. On May 27 that year, Lord Janner used the Abingdon Green car park close to Parliament, entering with his personal pass, and paid £32.40 as he was not there on official business on that occasion.
The following week his car was left at the car park on consecutive days – June 2 and 3 – when Parliament was not sitting.
In one of the letters, the head of property and office services asks him personally about the stays, as he would have been charged £64.80 had he not been there to work.
‘I would be grateful if you could confirm that your car was indeed parked there whilst you were on parliamentary business for this period of time,’ Lord Janner was told.
A spokesman for the Lords confirmed that the peer, now 86, replied that he had been there on official business in June, and so did not have to pay for parking.
Lord Janner had used his official parliamentary car park pass to enter the facility. Rules state that they can only be used by the peer to whom they are issued.
The Lords said he had not given any details of what work he was doing, and it was not known if he had been at the wheel of the car.
‘A representative of Lord Janner confirmed that the parking charges from June 2 and 3, 2014, were incurred while Lord Janner was doing parliamentary work,’ said a spokesman. He had also paid for a car park stay on November 13, 2013.
The House of Lords last night confirmed that Lord Janner had signed the cheque to cover the May visit, and that it had been cleared by the bank as genuine. Individuals deemed to lack mental capacity often have to give power over their financial affairs to relatives or lawyers.
A spokesman said: ‘The cheque was cleared by the bank, bearing what appears to be Lord Janner’s signature.’
There was uproar in April when Ms Saunders announced that despite the evidence against him, Lord Janner would not stand trial because of his lack of mental capacity.
She also ruled out holding a procedure known as a ‘trial of facts’, which can be used when suspects are unable to enter pleas or instruct lawyers.
There are now four separate reviews into the handling of the repeated failures to put Lord Janner on trial.
The allegations against him first emerged at the trial of an evil care home boss in 1991, and police investigated him again in 2002 and 2007 as well as this year.
An external QC is reconsidering the most recent charging decision after alleged victims demanded a review; a retired High Court judge is examining prosecutors’ decision not to charge Lord Janner in previous investigations; the Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into the police’s handling of the same cases; and the chairman of the huge public inquiry into historic child abuse has also promised to hear the claims against him.
A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: ‘Given the referral made to the IPCC by Leicestershire Police some months ago, and their subsequent independent investigation, and in order to avoid prejudicing various investigations… we are unable to comment.’
Lord Janner’s family, who have said he is ‘entirely innocent’, declined to comment, while his lawyer did not respond to requests to comment.
FIT OR UNFIT? THE KEY DATES
Leicestershire Police launch Operation Enamel – the fourth investigation into child sex abuse allegations against Labour peer Greville Janner. More than a dozen alleged victims came forward to say he had molested them, most in Leicester care homes during the 1970s and 1980s.
February 7, 2013
Janner speaks for last time in Lords, giving a 765-word speech on Israel.
November 26, 2013
Votes in House of Lords for the last time, on a finance bill. Claims expenses.
Police search Janner’s North London home. Makes last 12 Lords appearances.
Police remove items from Janner’s office in Millbank, Central London.
After police request to speak to Janner, medical experts send report saying he is not fit to be interviewed because he has dementia.
May 27, 2014
Janner uses Westminster car park, but pays for his stay as he was not there on official business.
June 2 & 3, 2014
Uses Westminster car park again and confirms to the authorities that he was there on official business, despite Parliament not sitting at the time.
April 16, 2015
DPP Alison Saunders says police have enough evidence to charge Janner with 22 offences, but will not do so as he is unfit to stand trial. Police and alleged victims are furious – sparking four separate reviews and threats of legal action.