Tony Blair admits nominating former MP Janner for peerage despite knowing of child sex abuse claims

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Tony Blair admits nominating former MP Greville Janner for peerage despite knowing of child sex abuse claims against him

Tony Blair said  Lord Janner had issued a ‘vigorous public denial’ and had not been chargedHis elevation to the House of Lords in 1997 came six years after he was publicly accused of child sex abuse He died in 2015, facing 22 charges of historical sexual abuse against nine boys

By Emine Sinmaz for the Daily Mail

Published: 23:30 GMT, 27 October 2020 | Updated: 17:10 GMT, 28 October 2020

Tony Blair nominated former Labour MP Greville Janner for a peerage despite being aware of child sexual abuse claims against him, an inquiry heard yesterday.

The ex-prime minister said he did not consider the allegations a reason to bar his appointment.

Lord Janner’s elevation to the House of Lords in 1997 following Labour’s landslide election victory came six years after he was publicly accused of child sex abuse in a high-profile court case.

Mr Blair, 67, said he ‘would have known’ about the claims.

Lord Janner died in 2015, facing 22 charges of historical sexual abuse against nine boys

But he added that Lord Janner, an MP in Leicester from 1970 to 1997, had issued a ‘vigorous public denial’ and had not been charged.   

Lord Janner died in 2015, aged 87, facing 22 charges of historical sexual abuse against nine boys.

In a statement read to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse yesterday, Mr Blair said: ‘In 1997 I would have known of the allegations against Lord Janner.

‘As regards the nomination, I would expect such allegations to be considered (by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee) as part of that process. 

In the circumstances of Lord Janner’s vigorous public denial, a police investigation, and charges not being brought, I do not believe the allegations would have been investigated further beyond confirming those facts, nor that I would have considered them a bar to the nomination.

‘At this distance, I am unable to specifically identify any particular failing or shortcoming that I was personally responsible for in my capacity as leader of the Labour Party or as Prime Minister.’

Lord Janner’s 1997 nomination described him as ‘a highly respected former MP’ and a patron of many charities.

The hearing was also told that Downing Street said it had received a recommendation that Janner be included in a future honours list. No honour was awarded.

The latest strand of the abuse inquiry, set up in 2014, is due to conclude on Friday.

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