Janner family welcomes resignation of child sex abuse inquiry chair


The son of the late Lord Janner has welcomed the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard as chair of the government’s independent inquiry into child sex abuse.

Daniel Janner said he had been ready to call for the judge to stand down after she refused his request to adjourn the part of the inquiry relating to Lord Janner.

He described the investigation as “a legal Titanic, without a captain”.

Dame Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge, resigned on Thursday, telling Home Secretary Amber Rudd that conducting such a widespread inquiry was "not an easy task" but "compounding the many difficulties was its legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off".

Claims of historical sex abuse against Lord Janner, the former MP, were to be investigated as part of the probe.

Some 33 people have made claims against him, with the offences alleged to have taken place between 1955 and 1988. Lawyers for the alleged victims say their clients have been waiting years for justice.

The Janner family, which has always strongly denied the allegations, has been highly critical of Justice Goddard for including the peer in the inquiry.

The decision was “misconceived, and should be withdrawn”, Daniel Janner, who is a QC, said.

The terms of the inquiry, as originally set up in 2014, he said, were to examine the failings of institutions in not preventing child sexual abuse.

“My father is not, and was not, an institution, and this should never have happened,” Mr Janner said. “We trust that whoever takes over from Goddard will re-examine this, and understand that it was a huge mistake to deal with his case in this way.”

Mr Janner said: “Despite her resignation, we are obviously going to continue to do everything we can to clear our father’s name."

In a statement Ms Rudd said: "I want to assure everyone with an interest in the inquiry, particularly victims and survivors, that the work of the inquiry will continue without delay.”

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