Lord Janner "did a lot of good" according to former MP
PUBLISHED: 15:38 22 December 2015 | UPDATED: 19:32 22 December 2015
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A warm tribute has been paid to Lord Janner by former Hendon South MP John Marshall, who said "hundreds of thousands of people" owe their lives to the alleged paedophile.
The Conservative councillor for Hampstead Garden Suburb attended yesterday’s Jewish funeral for the former Labour MP and peer, who was at the centre of multiple accusations of child sexual abuse.
Mr Marshall declined to say where the funeral took place, but the 87-year-old was reportedly buried in a United Synagogue cemetery in Willesden with former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks leading the prayers.
Mr Marshall said he had no hesitation in attending the funeral.
He said: “I went to pay my respects to him and his family. He wasn’t found guilty of anything during his lifetime, and I take the view that someone’s guilt is for the law to decide.”
He added that the funeral was very well attended and that there had been no paparazzi there.
He said: “I know his son, Daniel, who is a QC, and he spoke at the service. Funerals are never nice occasions, but it was very respectful.”
Mr Marshall is the former Conservative MP for Hendon South and a resident of Hampstead Garden Suburb, where Janner also lived for much of his Parliamentary career.
Mr Marshall worked alongside his political opponent several times on behalf of the Jewish community and in trying to foster improved relations between different faiths.
He said: “Although we were on different sides of the house, we were campaigning on similar issues. I always found him to be a highly effective MP. We once went to the Yemen together to help get members of the Jewish community out safely.
“Greville Janner led a number of campaigns, such as that to ensure that the Jewish community could leave the Yemen, such as the campaign to allow the Jewish community to leave Russia, which means that hundreds of thousands of people owe their life and freedom to his campaigning skills.
“I would say he did a lot of good and that has to be remembered.”
Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that Janner was unfit to stand trial because of his ailing health as he would be unable to instruct solicitors or enter a plea.
He would otherwise have faced 22 separate charges of abusing young boys, mainly in care homes in his Leicester constituency, where he was MP from 1974-1997.
The only time Janner was interviewed by police about the abuse allegations was in 1991, when accusations against him first emerged at the trial of convicted paedophile and children’s home director Frank Beck.
A “trial of the facts” was due to take place next year, and the Crown Prosecution Service are currently reviewing whether this should go ahead following Janner’s death.