Greville Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone

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Lord Janner of Braunstone

Greville Ewan Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone (born 11 July 1928) is a British Labour politician, lawyer and author. A QC since 1971, he was a Labour MP from 1970 to 1997, since when he has been a member of the House of Lords. He is also associated with a number of Jewish organisations including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, of which he was chairman from 1978 to 1984, and he has been prominent in the field of Holocaust Education.

Background[edit]

Janner was born in Cardiff, Wales to Jewish parents, the son of Sir Barnett Janner who was to sit in the House of Lords as Lord Janner of Leicester, a former Chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain. Educated at St Paul’s School, London, Janner was evacuated to Canada during the war and attended Bishop's College School, Lennoxville, Quebec. At the age of 18 he joined the British Army, where he served in the War Crimes Investigation Unit near the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in occupied Germany, and worked on cases of killings at Stalag Luft III. Later, Janner studied Law, attending Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1952, and Harvard Law School, which he attended through both the Fulbright and Smith-Mundt awards.[1]

He became a barrister in 1954 and was appointed a QC in 1971.[1]

Political career[edit]

Having unsuccessfully fought Wimbledon in the 1955 General Election, Janner represented Leicester North West and then Leicester West in the House of Commons from 1970 until his retirement in 1997.[1] His predecessor in the seat was his father, Sir Barnett Janner, a former Chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain. He was succeeded by Patricia Hewitt.

He was created a life peer as Baron Janner of Braunstone, of Leicester in the County of Leicestershire in 1997.[2] was President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism,[citation needed] and chaired the All-Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group.[citation needed]

He has been on leave of absence from the House of Lords since 13 October 2014.[3]

NGO career[edit]

Lord Janner was president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of British Jewry, from 1978 to 1984, and was a key campaigner in the efforts to get reparations for victims of the Holocaust.[1] He was also a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress[1] until 2009 and of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Holocaust Education[edit]

Lord Janner "has devoted his life to educating the next generation about the horrors of the Holocaust". He is co-founder and until 2012 was chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust. He is now founding patron of the Trust. The Lord Janner Scholarship provides funding for ten schools to take part in the Trust's educational programme’s each year.[4]

Altercation with Lord Bramall[edit]

In 2006, Janner was struck by Lord Bramall, a former head of the Armed Forces, during a heated row over the Middle East.[5] Janner was hit in one of the rooms close to the House of Lords chamber. Janner later sought the advice of fellow peers about how and whether to make a formal complaint against Lord Bramall, before deciding to accept an apology. Janner said: "Lord Bramall has apologised, and, as far as I'm concerned, the matter is now closed."[6]

Child sexual abuse allegations[edit]

In 1991, the director of a children's home in Leicestershire, Frank Beck, was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to five life terms. During the trial, Beck accused Janner of having abused a child.[7] A 30-year-old man also accused Janner of abusing him when he was in care aged 13. Janner was not prosecuted, and received cross-party support in the House of Commons. He said there was "not a shred of truth" in the claims against him.[7] The Times reported in September 2014 that Mike Creedon, currently the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, claimed that in 1989 whilst he was serving as a Detective Sergeant, senior police chiefs blocked a paedophile probe into Janner, despite 'credible evidence' that warranted further investigation.[8][9]

In 2013 and early 2014, Leicestershire Police searched Janner's home in north London, and his offices in the House of Lords in connection with an enquiry linked to historic child abuse allegations.[5][7][10] A file of evidence against Janner has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, but he has not been interviewed or arrested.[11]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Janner wrote a number of books on public speaking and business communication, including On Presentation. In addition, he has written extensively under the pen-name Ewan Mitchell. He is a former member of The Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.[12]

Lord Janner has throughout his career sought to foster good relations between different faiths and religions. His book, One Hand Alone Cannot Clap, is testimony to this work. He co-founded (along with Prince Hassan of Jordan) the Coexistence Trust, a charity to combat Islamophobia and antisemitism.

Lord Janner's youngest daughter is an ordained Rabbi. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner was appointed National Movement Rabbi for The Movement for Reform Judaism in 2011.[13] She is married to a brother of the Israeli writer Amos Oz (birth name Amos Klausner).[14]

Books[edit]

  • (1978) The Motorist's Lawyer, Royal Automobile Club
  • (1979) Product Liability, Random House Business Books
  • (1985) Janner's Complete Letterwriter
  • (1986) On Meetings, Gower Publishing
  • (1989) On Chairing, Gower Publishing
  • (1989) On Presentation, Random House Business Books
  • (1991) How to Win Meetings, Gower Publishing
  • (1998) One Hand Alone Cannot Clap: Arab Israeli Universe, Robson Books
  • (2003) Janner's Speechmaker, Thorogood
  • (2008) Jewish Parliamentarians, (with Derek Taylor)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e World Jewish Congress, Lord Janner of Braunstone QC; Honorary Vice-Presidents, World Jewish Congress, accessed 26 July 2009
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54933. p. 1. 29 October 1997.
  3. ^ "Lord Janner of Braunstone". UK Parliament. 
  4. ^ "Holocaust Educational Trust honours champions of Holocaust Education". Holocaust Educational Trust. 
  5. ^ a b "Lord Greville Janner's home searched as part of child sex investigations, say police". The Daily Telegraph (London). 20 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "War hero, 82, hits fellow peer in Lords". London Evening Standard. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Peachey, Paul "Police investigating child abuse search peer Greville Janner's home", The Independent (London), 20 December 2013
  8. ^ O'Neill, Sean "Child sex inquiry into MP 'blocked by senior police'", The Times (subscription required), 25 September 2014
  9. ^ Geenwood, Chris "Police 'told to limit abuse probe into MP'", Daily Mail (London), 26 September 2014
  10. ^ "Office at Lords is searched by police". Belfast Telegraph. 22 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Lord Janner evidence considered in child abuse probe", BBC News, 30 April 2014
  12. ^ Biography – Greville Janner – Lord Janner of Braunstone QC GrevilleJanner.org.uk
  13. ^ Rocker, Simon (28 July 2011). "Laura Janner-Klausner: Why I'm not the Reform rival to the Chief Rabbi". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Movement for Reform Judaism. "Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner in the Times". Movement for Reform Judaism. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Barnett Janner
Member of Parliament for Leicester North West
1970–1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Leicester West
1974–1997
Succeeded by
Patricia Hewitt