An inquiry into historic child sex abuse allegations at Westminster has been branded a “witch hunt against dead politicians” before hearings began today.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is investigating allegations that a paedophile ring involving senior politicians once operated at Westminster.
Daniel Janner QC, whose late father Lord Janner was investigated for historic abuse allegations in 2015, criticised the investigation as a “waste of public money”.
- Read more: Cardinal Pell convicted of molesting choirboys
- Read more: Scientists creating database of hand photos to crack down on child abuse
Speaking outside the IICSA’s London headquarters, Mr Janner said: "This beleaguered inquiry behind me has turned into a witch hunt against dead politicians, such as Sir Edward Heath, Lord Brittan and my late father, Lord Janner.
"The allegations have already been fully investigated and shown to be based on tittle tattle, false rumours and dodgy dossiers.
"It's a massive, out-of-control waste of money, it's a shameful disgrace, it's contrary to the basic principles of British justice.”
'Outstanding questions of public concern'
Lord Janner attending Westminster Magistrates Court in 2015 in connection to 22 charges of alleged child abuse.
The allegations that a ring of paedophiles operated within the very heart of the British political establishment first came to light after Carl Beech, then known only as “Nick”, told police he had been abused in the Dolphin Square flats in Pimlico.
Although Beech’s allegations were later found to be false, lead counsel Brian Altman QC said there was a public interest in investigating how Westminster institutions dealt with abuse allegations.
Mr Altman said: “It is our firm submission that public concern over Westminster child sexual abuse allegations neither begins nor ends with Mr Beech.
"We suggest, and we are confident that many of the core participants here today will agree, that there are outstanding questions of public concern in this area that it is both necessary and appropriate for this inquiry to investigate, albeit in a limited and proportionate manner."
Mr Altman said the inquiry will consider whether police officers were “warned off” investigating allegations against senior members of the establishment in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
The inquiry will also investigate claims that parliamentary Whips’ offices leveraged MPs through the use of so-called “dirt books” and whether Whips were involved with suppressing allegations or evidence of child sexual abuse.