Lord Janner: My friend Michael Jackson

Leading Jewish peer Lord Janner spoke today about his sorrow at the death of Michael Jackson, whom he regarded as "delightful company" and a good friend.

Lord Janner was introduced to the singer by psychic Uri Geller.

"He came to Parliament in 2002 and I showed him round," Lord Janner recalled. "He had come to the UK to help fund-raise for Exeter Football Club, which Uri chaired.

"I showed him all around the Lords; it was a Friday and the staff were thrilled. When we got to the place where the Queen sits when she opens Parliament, he looked at the chair and then turned to his assistant. He said: 'I want one exactly like that for my home.'"

Lord Janner said he had not been familiar with Jackson's music when they first met but had had the opportunity to see him in California at Universal Studios. "We had dinner together and then I watched him dance. He was an incredible dancer. It was absolutely astonishing."

The peer said he would miss the entertainer, whose death was announced today.

Last updated: 9:41pm, June 27 2009