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. 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.

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]

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] He is President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism,[3] and chairs the All-Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group.[4]

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 is also a vice-president of both the World Jewish Congress[1] and the Jewish Leadership Council.

Lord Janner is Founder and President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council and Chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust.[1]

Child 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.[5] A 30-year-old man also accused Janner of abusing him when he was in care aged 13. A letter was shown to the jury that was allegedly sent from Janner to the boy. Janner was not prosecuted at the time and in the House of Commons received cross-party support. He said there was "not a shred of truth" in the claims against him.[5]

In December 2013, Leicestershire Police searched his home in Golders Green, north London, in connection with a police investigation into child abuse allegations.[6][5] In March 2014, Leicestershire Police searched Janner's offices in the House of Lords as part of an ongoing inquiry linked to historic child abuse allegations.[7] Although a file of evidence against Janner has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, he was reported in April 2014 as not having been interviewed or arrested and no charges have been brought against him.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] She is married to a brother of the Israeli writer Amos Oz (birth name Amos Klausner).[11]

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]

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