Mandelson Lobbied Blair To Give Janner Peerage After Child Sex Abuse Claims

Fact checked
Mandelson Lobbied Blair To Give Janner Peerage After Child Sex Abuse Claims

Janner, who escaped child abuse charges last month because of his dementia, was elevated to the House of Lords six years after being publicly accused of child sex abuse in a high-profile court case.

It has been claimed that Peter Mandelson lobbied Tony Blair for the alleged paedophile Lord Janner to receive a peerage.

Tony Blair and Lord Mandelson

The Mail Online report:

The Labour grandee, who escaped historic child sex abuse charges last month because he has dementia, has also boasted how his ‘friend’ Gordon Brown helped him get into the Lords.

It meant Janner was one of the first peers appointed by Mr Blair after his landslide election victory in 1997.

The claims will raise fresh questions about how the Labour Establishment responded when the abuse allegations against him first emerged in 1991.

Janner described in his 2006 autobiography To Life! how he decided to stand down as MP for Leicester West after his wife Myra was diagnosed with cancer in 1994.

Considering it would be ‘splendid’ to be made a peer, he consulted his ‘valued friend’ Lord Mandelson, who told him: ‘You’ll have to talk to Tony. I’ll ask him.’

Janner made an appointment to see the then-Labour leader in his Commons office a week later.

Lord Mandelson emerged as he was going in and smilingly said to him: ‘I’ve just been reminding Tony of the reason for your visit.’

Mr Blair reportedly told Janner during the meeting: ‘I shall do my best to get you there [the Lords]. It’s not just that I’m fond of you, which I am. It’s not just that you’ve helped me a lot, which you have. It’s because you deserve it.

‘But I can’t give you any guarantees. If we win the election, there should not be a problem.’

On the day Labour won the May 1997 general election, Cherie Blair hugged Janner and offered words of condolence over his wife’s recent death.

However, he heard nothing more about his longed-for peerage so spoke again to Lord Mandelson, who said he would ‘keep an eye on it’.

He said he also raised the subject with his ‘old friend’ Mr Brown, who had just become chancellor.

Janner claimed that Mr Brown replied: ‘Hasn’t Tony said that he’s going to do it? I’ll have a word with him about it … I have a special relationship with Tony and can talk to him about anything.’

His name appeared ‘soon after’ on the first list of new peers appointed by the Labour Government.

A spokesman for Mr Brown yesterday denied Janner’s account, saying: ‘This is incorrect and has no basis in fact.’

Prosecutors announced last month that there was enough evidence to charge Janner with 22 historic child sex offences.