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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Trident Whistle-blower Navy Engineer William McNeilly in custody of failed UK State

William has been on the run since he gave a 19 page report of the safety problems with Trident Nuclear weapons. Wills report echos the revelations of less well know whistle-blowers who  also had to escape the UK for fear of reprisals.   


The Courage Foundation has opened an emergency fund for Trident whistleblower William McNeilly’s defence costs.
Able Seaman William McNeilly is a 25-year-old British Engineering Technician Weapons Engineer Submariner who has blown the whistle on major safety risks and cover-ups within the British Royal Navy’s Trident nuclear weapons programme, stating, “We are so close to a nuclear disaster it is shocking, and yet everybody is accepting the risk to the public.”
William McNeilly released a 16-page report to WikiLeaks, who published the original in full. The report draws on McNeilly’s experience in the Royal Navy to detail security lapses, safety hazards and a culture of secrecy and cover-up. In particular, McNeilly describes surprisingly weak security around the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine base, writing that “it’s harder to get into most nightclubs than it is to get into the [restricted] Green Area.”
McNeilly has turned himself in to police and is now being held in Royal Navy custody at an undisclosed location, where he faces potential prosecution. Whilst it is yet unclear what charges McNeilly will face, he is in military custody and the UK has a number of military charges that, like the Espionage Act in the United States, do not offer defendants the chance to make a public interest defence.
Regarding his reasons for acting as he has done, McNeilly explained the difficulty of achieving results through regular channels: “I’m releasing this information in this way because it’s the only way I can be sure it gets out. I raised my concerns about the safety and security of the weapon system through the chain of command on multiple occasions. My concern couldn’t have been any clearer.”
The Courage Foundation is taking McNeilly on as an emergency case, providing a defence fund immediately for the public to donate to, ensuring its possible for him to mount the best defence from the start.
Britain’s nuclear deterrent, which is based at Falsane in Scotland, has been the subject of increasing domestic controversy over recent months as the latest possible date for a political decision on its renewal draws near. The Scottish National Party, whose MPs won 56 of Scotland’s 59 parliamentary seats in the recent General Election, is strongly opposed to a Trident replacement being commissioned.
Among the most startling of McNeilly’s revelations include the fact that three missile launch tests failed, missile safety alarms were ignored, torpedo compartments were flooded and bags were not properly checked for security risks. He also claims that HMS Vanguard crashed into a French submarine in February 2009. McNeilly says there was a “massive cover up of the incident. For the first time the no personal electronic devices with a camera rule was enforced.” At the time, the Guardian reported that “the Ministry of Defence initially refused to confirm the incident” and that Vanguard suffered mere “scrapes”, but McNeilly says one officer told him, “We thought, this is it – we’re all going to die.”
A serving submariner has given a damning account of life onboard a Trident submarine earlier this year, describing the vessels as “a disaster waiting to happen”.  William McNeilly was training to work on the Trident nuclear weapons system.  He was on HMS Victorious during a three-month operational patrol which ended in April. He has published a detailed account of technical defects, security breaches and poor safety practice. The Navy has written down detailed procedures for safety and security with regard to Trident. McNeilly reveals that these rules are casually ignored on a daily basis. His account was reported by Rob Edwards in the Sunday Herald. The editorial in the paper argues that the whistleblowers report should spell the death knell for Trident.
John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said:
"McNeilly is a whistleblower who has revealed that there is a callous disregard for safety and security onboard Trident submarines.  He should be commended for his action, not hounded by the Ministry of Defence.  He has exposed the fact that Trident is a catastrophe waiting to happen - by accident, an act of terrorism or sabotage.  We are told that nuclear weapons keep us safe. This report shows that Trident puts us all in great danger.  McNeilly’s report would make a good script for a disaster movie.  Alarms warnings are muted, safety regulations ignored, shortcuts taken, exam results falsified and major defects overlooked. What he says is credible.  Official reports show that the number of safety incidents is very high and rising. McNeilly reveals what this actually means in practice."
This is the Petition organised by Scottish CND to support William and ask that he not be prosecuted.  https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-pardon-the-trident-whistleblower
Accident risk
One major concern is a fire in the Missile Compartment, which houses 8 Trident D5 missiles. Each missile contains tonnes of high explosive rocket fuel, topped with several 100-kiloton nuclear warheads. McNeilly describes an earlier incident on a Trident submarine. Toilet rolls, stacked in the Missile Compartment, caught fire. This filled several of the decks of the compartment with smoke.  The crew struggled to bring the incident under control and had difficulty using their Breathing Apparatus. 
Despite this earlier incident, he found that the risk of a fire in the Missile Compartment wasn’t taken seriously.  A major fire in the missile area can only be brought under control by flooding the compartment with Nitrogen. However the Nitrogen cylinders were significantly below the required pressure. Restrictions on personal electronic equipment, which could trigger an electrical fire, were not enforced. McNeilly told his superiors about rubbish near the missiles, which could have caused a fire. But no action was taken.
Elsewhere on the submarine there was a real risk of an electrical fire. No attempt was made to isolate electrical equipment after a leak was detected in the riders’ mess (riders are extra personnel on the vessel).  There were serious problems with condensation in parts of the submarine. A sprinkler system was accidentally activated in the torpedo room, without the electrical system having been isolated.
Crew members who work on the Trident missile system should have a thorough knowledge of CB8890, the manual for Trident safety and security. However McNeilly’s exam on the manual was a sham. Some who missed the test were allocated results at random.  One of the more senior staff said that the students didn’t really need to study the whole manual.
The status of the Trident missiles is monitored at the Control and Monitoring Panel (CAMP). This should be manned at all times, but often it was not. An audible alarm on the panel was muted because it was going off repeatedly. A second recurring alarm in the Missile Control Compartment, due to a problem with power from one of the Turbo Generators, was also ignored.
One of the more hazardous operations conducted by missile engineers is the insertion of DC/AC inverters in the missiles before a patrol and their removal after a patrol. To do this they have to open a hatch in each missile tube and gain direct access to the missiles. McNeilly describes how the removal of inverters at the end of their patrol was rushed and they did not follow the written procedures. 
The Navy is finding it difficult to recruit and train Trident missile engineers. The report from this submariner shows that they are placing people in positions of responsibility without adequate training and/or experience.
Other safety issues identified by McNeilly are:
•There was a list of defects on the Trident missile system on HMS Victorious and the list was almost full.
•One of the decks in the Missile Compartment was used as a gym and weights were thrown and dropped near missile equipment.
•Extra beds blocked access to DC switch boards & a hydraulics isolation valve.
•Use of banned substance in cleaning material, causing problems with fumes.
•The circumstances of the collision between HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant in February 2009 are a closely guarded secret, but one Vanguard crew member said “We thought, this is it we’re all going to die”.
•There was an incident when a generator compartment was flooded on a submarine and this could have resulted in the loss of the vessel if it had been handled differently.
Defects on Trident submarines
McNeilly says that at the end of the patrol they tested the Missile Compensation System on HMS Victorious. This system should quickly restore the balance of the submarine after a missile is launched, to enable each subsequent missile to be fired. The test was carried out three times, and each time the test failed.
The missile hatches on the submarine are powered by the Main Hydraulic Plant. At the end of the patrol they should have tested that they would have been able to open the hatches if required. But they were unable to conduct the test because of seawater in the hydraulic system.
These two problems meant that they could not confirm that the submarine could have launched its missiles when on patrol.
McNeilly says that there was noise from the aft diving planes when the vessel submerged at the start of its patrol and that this was part of a wider issue of aft diving planes jamming. Jammed planes can lead to the loss of the submarine in an uncontrolled dive.
There were problems with the Turbo Generators, which provide the main power source, and with one of the diesel generators, which are the back-up power source.  The safety of the submarine would be compromised if both sources of electrical power were lost.
In addition to these problems on HMS Victorious, McNeilly refers to defects on other submarines. He says that there are currently only two operational Trident submarines, probably due to refit and maintenance cycles, and that there are major defects on both the operational vessels. 
He visited a Trident submarine in the shiplift and many of the items of equipment were tagged with red markers, either for maintenance or defects. When they were told not to touch anything in the submarine’s control room, one of the crew responded “nothing works, you can touch what you like”.
Security breaches
McNeilly revealed two major breaches of security on HMS Victorious.  Despite not having DV security clearance, he was given access to Top Secret information showing where the submarine was carrying out its patrol. He also says he could have worked out the key to the Weapons Engineering Officer’s safe when he watched him enter the combination. This would have given the junior crew member unauthorised access to the trigger which launches Trident missiles. In addition, McNeilly was told of an officer who frequently left Top Secret documents lying on his bed.
He says there was a lack of adequate security controlling access to Trident submarines:
•The QM sentry (sailor in sentry box at gang plank) not an effective security check, as the sentry routinely lets people pass unchecked.
•MOD Police/Guard Force pass checks and gate checks not thorough.  Able to pass without showing face, including when raining.  Possible for extra people to get in as part of a group. Lots of missing RN ID cards circulating.
•Electronic gate access with PIN not working.
•No checks on bags being taken onto submarine by sailors or civilians. He was able to leave his bags next to the missiles on his first visit to a submarine.
Sloppy practice
McNeilly described how at times, such as the loading of stores before patrol, the submarine was chaotic. At the end of the patrol both the junior ranks and the senior ranks toilets were flooded and he notes that this was an apt summary of the state of affairs on this deadly nuclear-armed vessel.
Credibility of McNeilly’s report
While it is not possible to confirm many of the points made in McNeilly’s report, there is evidence to substantiate some of his remarks.
He says that Trident missile operators are been given responsibility too quickly without adequate training or experience. The Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator has said that a shortage of Suitably Qualified and Experience Personnel (SQEP) is the primary risk to the Defence Nuclear Programme (DNP). In his 2012/13 report the regulator said, “The ability of the Department to sustain a sufficient number of nuclear suitably competent military and civilian personnel is a long standing issue. It is identified as a significant threat to the safe delivery of the DNP”.  It remained the number one issue in the regulator’s 2013/14 report. Changes have been made to training under the Sustainable Submarine Manning Project.  Some individuals can be fast tracked through their training and experience.
McNeilly describes how, in the US Navy, two submariners go inside the missile tube, one on top of the other, to remove the DC/AC inverters from the missiles at the end of a patrol. A photo taken on US Navy Trident submarine confirms that this is the case. It shows the leg and foot of one man who is lying inside the missile tube. A second man is on the ladder facing inside, on top of the first man. A third sailor is in the foreground.
 















McNeilly mentions finding rubbish in the missile compartment, reporting this to superiors and no action being taken. One of the duties of a Missile Technician on a US submarine is to patrol the Missile Compartment looking for hazards like this. UK practice is likely to be the same, at least in theory.
McNeilly describes hearing of a fire in the missile compartment of a Trident submarine. While there is no other public evidence of this incident, the description of problems with a lack of adequate breathing apparatus is consistent with recorded accounts of fires on Royal Navy submarines. His claim that a very small fire can produce a lot of smoke on a submarine is confirmed by other sources.
He describes how it is possible to walk through security barriers without your pass being properly checked.  In October 1988 a protestor from Faslane Peace Camp was able to walk through several checkpoints, onto a Polaris submarine and then into the vessel’s Control Room (Herald report). In November 2000 a car-load of tourists accidentally drove into Faslane and was able to get through the checkpoint without any passes (source).
McNeilly quotes CB8890, the instructions for the safety and security of the Trident II D5 strategic weapon system. There is a reference to this manual in a defence safety review. The paragraphs from CB8890 which he quotes are similar to nuclear safety documents which have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.  
The submariner’s report suggests that there are a high number of breaches of safety procedures on Trident submarines. This is consistent with an acknowledged rise in nuclear incidents. The number of nuclear safety incidents at Faslane and Coulport rose from 68 in 2012/13 to 105 in 2013/14 (source). Between 2008/09 and 2012/13 there were 316 nuclear safety events, 71 fires and 3,243 “near miss” incidents at Faslane and Coulport (source). There were 44 fires on Royal Navy nuclear submarines between 2009 and 2013 (source).



Sunday, 3 May 2015

Serial Pedophile Lord Janner and the Criminal Justice system that protects him and persecutes victims and whistle-blowers

Rape Of Justice 
Evidence doctored. Witnesses threatened. The damning child sex abuse dossier that alleges Lord Janner was allowed to molest young boys by one of Britain's highest ranking police chiefs
Guy Adams investigates   
Then MP Greville Janner with young schoolchildren when he was President of the Board of Deputies and lay leader of the British Jewish community
Then MP Greville Janner with young schoolchildren when he was President of the Board of Deputies and lay leader of the British Jewish community
The tale of corruption and criminality is so sinister that it might have been plucked from the plot of a late-night TV drama.
At its heart is a famous politician with a dark secret: he has for years been living a vile double life as a prolific abuser of children.
His crimes are known to the forces of law and order in the city that he represents. Yet the local police chief, a close friend and fellow Freemason, works to ensure that he is never brought to justice.
At one point, when the ‘untouchable’ Parliamentarian is threatened with exposure, in a messy court case, local detectives falsify criminal evidence in an effort to protect him.
Soon afterwards, the politician sends ‘heavies’ to knock on the doors of witnesses, in the hope of intimidating them into staying silent.
Then allies in City Hall instruct staff to shred documents that might result in his repellent activities becoming public.
Finally, the police chief launches an organised campaign to destroy the reputation of a brave whistle-blower who is attempting to expose the whole, stinking business.
As a result, the abuse continues unchecked, on an industrial scale. Dozens, if not scores, more vulnerable children are abused. Many still bear the scars to this day.
At the heart of the alleged conspiracy to protect Lord Janner is Michael Hirst (pictured). He was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire for much of the 1980s
At the heart of the alleged conspiracy to protect Lord Janner is Michael Hirst (pictured). He was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire for much of the 1980s
Corruption being a two-way street, the politician, meanwhile, helps funnel public money to the very police force whose bosses are helping him stay out of jail.
Sounds appalling, doesn’t it? But these deeply disturbing events have not been taken from a fictitious crime novel or TV script.
Instead, they are contained in a dossier of legal documents which outline events that took place in a British city during the 1980s and 1990s.
That city is Leicester. And the politician is Greville Janner, the Labour Peer and former MP who has in recent weeks been accused of countless child sex crimes, over a career that spanned four decades. His family have strenuously denied any such wrong-doing.
The fate of the 86-year-old is at the centre of a political storm after Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, decided that he should never be tried for his alleged crimes, which include 16 indecent assaults, and six counts of buggery, against nine children, because he is suffering from dementia.
In light of the ensuing controversy, which has seen more than 30 extra victims come forward, the aforementioned legal dossier, which I obtained a copy of this week, makes explosive reading.
Comprising dozens of letters, affidavits, witness statements and hundreds of pages of court papers, it offers a contemporaneous take from someone close to the case on how he believed Janner both committed his vile crimes and got away with them.
At the heart of the alleged conspiracy is a man called Michael Hirst. He was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire for much of the 1980s, and went on to become a director of the private security company Group 4.
According to the legal papers, which date from the early 1990s, Mr Hirst just happened to be ‘very close friends’ with Greville Janner. Both men, the dossier alleges, were Freemasons.
As a result of their relationship, it claims that Janner was protected from prosecution — even though his ‘activities with young boys’ were ‘well known by police’.
Although they knew that the MP had ‘been at it for years,’ junior officers said he was ‘never arrested, because strings are always pulled up above’.
Kelvyn Ashby at his home in Syston, Leicestershire.  Mr Ashby investigated Greville Janner in 1991
Kelvyn Ashby at his home in Syston, Leicestershire.  Mr Ashby investigated Greville Janner in 1991
In return, the documents claim, Janner repeatedly ‘stood up in Parliament asking for more money for Leicestershire constabulary.’ They also suggest that Janner’s criminal activities spanned several towns, regions and police jurisdictions.
In the market town of Coalville, for example, he ‘was involved setting up young homosexuals with flats in Agar Nook [a deprived housing estate] with the East Midlands Housing Association, and then calling round for payment in kind’.
At Leicester’s Holiday Inn, where the MP often stayed, the documents claim a witness ‘remembered the management closing the swimming pool to hotel guests, allowing Janner to swim in the pool with a young boy’.
In London, where he lived with his wife and children, and spent most weeknights, the papers allege that ‘the Met [police] at Notting Hill have a file relating to Janner and young boys’.
As far away as Scotland, an alleged victim approached staff at Edinburgh West Police Station in July 1991 and ‘made allegations of being buggered by Greville Janner while … on holiday for two weeks in Scotland alone with Janner’.
At this point, it should be stressed that the incriminating version of events outlined in the papers was compiled by one man.
Though it dovetails with much wider evidence about Janner’s alleged crimes, and seems at times to be forensically detailed (with statements and affidavits from multiple supporting witnesses), it was never properly tested in court.
The author was Ian Henning, a legal investigator (and former police officer) who had once worked on the defence team of a notorious convicted paedophile called Frank Beck.
Mr Beck, a former Liberal councillor and children’s home manager from Leicester, was, in 1991, given five life sentences, plus a further 24 years jail, for abusing youngsters in his care.
Owing to the severity of the crimes (police claimed Beck had abused 200 victims), the evidence at his trial was deeply shocking.
Lord Janner's Hampstead home. He transferred ownership of his apartment to his three children in the same month his Parliamentary office was searched by police last year
Lord Janner's Hampstead home. He transferred ownership of his apartment to his three children in the same month his Parliamentary office was searched by police last year
The trial also revealed a sensational side plot in which a witness claimed to have been repeatedly abused by Janner during the 1970s, when he’d been aged between 14 and 16.
The witness, by the time of the court case a married father of three in his 30s, gave a credible account of being subjected to a terrifying sexual assault at the MP’s London home, while Janner’s wife and children were away.
He claimed to have then had an illegal sexual relationship with Janner which lasted for almost two years.
The man showed the jury affectionate letters from the MP, talked of being given expensive presents by him and told how he’d been taken to the Houses of Parliament, Labour HQ, and a string of expensive hotels.
Their abusive relationship only ended, he claimed, when he moved into a home run by Beck, who forbade him from seeing the MP. 
Defence lawyers therefore attempted to use his testimony to argue that Beck was a protector, rather than abuser of boys. They described him as a ‘fall guy’ who was being prosecuted to protect the MP. The jury, of course, disagreed.
But after the 1991 conviction, Ian Henning, an employee of Leicester law firm Greene D’Sa, remained convinced of Beck’s innocence, and Janner’s guilt. He began working on an appeal.
It had the support of prisoners’ rights campaigner and Labour peer Lord Longford (who also believed in Beck’s innocence) and was to be handled in court by Anthony Scrivener, a QC famed for representing the Guildford Four (whose convictions were quashed after being wrongly jailed for 15 years for blowing up two pubs in the Surrey town in an IRA bombing campaign).
The documents quoted on these pages were all produced by Henning for that appeal.
As well as advocating Beck’s innocence, they offer a hair-raising, first-hand take on both Greville Janner’s alleged involvement in the case and its purported cover-up.
One of the papers is a witness statement written in 1993.
In it, Henning claims that during the run-up to Beck’s 1991 trial, junior police officers repeatedly told him that they were also investigating Janner for alleged child abuse.
‘On more than one occasion, police officers said “you must be the only bloke in Leicester who doesn’t know what he [Janner] gets up to”,’ it reads. ‘Police officers would be challenging and vociferous in making remarks such as “oh, it’s well known,” or “I’ve known about him for years”.’
The same police officers also claimed the MP was being protected by Chief Constable Hirst, Henning states.
Often, they would remark that ‘Janner and the chief constable are close personal friends’, or ask: ‘Why do you think that he [Janner] keeps standing up in Parliament asking for more money for Leicestershire Constabulary? No other Leicester MP does.


Labour Peer and former MP Lord Janner has in recent weeks been accused of countless child sex crimes, over a career that spanned four decades
‘One remark repeatedly made to me by numerous police officers while referring to Janner was “you’re in Leicester now and anything to do with Greville Janner will be covered up”.’
And so it proved.
Elsewhere in the 1993 document, which runs to 38 pages, Henning tells how, on May 11, 1990, detectives visited the home of Jennifer Lesiakowski, a former care home resident who alleged that she had been raped by Frank Beck.
They took a statement, and persuaded her to give evidence for the prosecution at his trial.
‘In her statement, [Lesiakowski] made reference to Greville Janner MP,’ Henning writes. ‘However, on May 17, 1990, the police officers returned to Lesiakowski with a typed copy of her original statement in which all reference to Greville Janner had been edited out.’
The documents also talk of how murky efforts began to be made to silence the alleged male Janner victim who intended to speak for the defence at the 1991 trial (and was by then living in Barnsley, South Yorkshire).
‘[He] was approached on two occasions by people who stated that they were representatives of Greville Janner and warned of the consequences for the witness, his wife and three young children if he attended any court hearing,’ Henning’s statement continues.
Henning says: ‘I assisted the witness to report these threats to the South Yorkshire and Leicestershire constabularies, as it was a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice and frightened [the victim] and his family.’
As a result of the sinister visits, the victim moved home. But attempts to intimidate him continued.
‘During October 1991, [the victim] told me [Henning] that the tenants who moved into his old address answered a knock at their front door to two men who stated that they had been sent by Greville Janner to warn [the victim] not to give evidence in the Beck trial.’
These shady figures weren’t the only people apparently attempting to protect Janner in the run-up to Beck’s trial, however. So, too, were Leicester social services, in whose homes many of Janner’s purported victims had lived.
With regard to the man intended to testifty in court, Henning claims that ‘all mention of Greville Janner had been removed from [his] Social Services file.’
‘The “Befriender” record, which regulations require be affixed to the inside of the front cover of all Social Service files, detailing any period a child spends away from the Children’s Home with a “befriender”, was missing.’
Other files which might have exposed Janner’s abuse of other children were simply destroyed.
‘In early February 1991, I received information that files relating to the children who had attended the Beeches Children’s Home during the “Beck era” had been taken by the gardener to County Hall, where a council employee ... had shredded them,’ Henning writes.
Lord Janner (right) sponsored Lord Carey of Clifton, who was previously Archbishop of Canterbury, on his introduction into the House of Lords in 2002
Lord Janner (right) sponsored Lord Carey of Clifton, who was previously Archbishop of Canterbury, on his introduction into the House of Lords in 2002
Eventually, two of the relatively junior detectives working on the case — named as Mick Creedon and Kelvyn Ashby — were told by their superiors to drop all inquiries into the MP.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that initially both Detective Inspector Ashby and Detective Sergeant Creedon intended to arrest Greville Janner,’ reads a different legal paper, compiled by Henning in 1991. ‘But as time progressed, using their own words, “we were prevented from doing so by higher ranking officers”.
Both Ashby and Creedon have recently confirmed that version of events. Creedon — now Chief Constable of Derbyshire — says the decision to stop investigating Janner ‘was taken by people more senior than me’. Did those ‘senior’ people include Chief Constable Hirst?
Creedon has so far declined to name names to the Press, though he may be more forthcoming to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is now investigating this affair. Creedon charged with investigating Janner, now says he was just obeying orders to allow Janner to continue to rape more children. But who's orders?
As for Hirst, he is unable to pass comment, having died. But his widow, Ruth, denies that he was either a Freemason or a particularly close friend of the MP.
‘I think Michael thought Janner was guilty,’ she said this week. ‘I don’t know who made the decision not to arrest [Janner] but I suspect it was somebody higher up than Michael.’
One thing Hirst certainly did preside over, however, was a bizarre and — in retrospect — very sinister attempt to silence Ian Henning in the months and years that followed the Beck trial.
It began in late 1991, when Leicestershire police announced that Henning would no longer be considered a ‘suitable person to attend an interview of a suspect or person in custody at a police station’.
In a letter to Henning’s law firm Greene D’Sa, they added that the force had written to both the Law Society and the Solicitors Complaints Bureau to have Henning struck off, on the grounds that (among other things) he’d improperly briefed the media about Janner’s involvement in the Beck case.
Henning, who denied that allegation, was then arrested. His house was searched and several documents and items of evidence relating to Janner seized, never to be seen again.
It took ten months for police to announce that no charges would actually be filed against him. In the meantime, he won leave to seek a judicial review of the decision to ban him from doing legal work in police stations.
‘My arrest was a response by the Leicestershire Constabulary to bully, threaten and intimidate me into silence,’ he wrote in papers prepared for that case.
‘Why are the Leicestershire Constabulary so interested in the welfare of Greville Janner. Is he a client of the constabulary?’
A good question. But one that would, sadly, never be asked in court.
In May 1994, Frank Beck suffered a fatal heart attack at Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, forcing his appeal to be abandoned.
To this day, many friends believe Beck was innocent, and Janner guilty — though others say there is ample evidence that both men were guilty, and were in fact accomplices.
Eighteen months later, Henning’s judicial review was also abandoned.
He, too, died suddenly and unexpectedly, in a road accident in December 1995, aged 57, before the case could be heard.
‘Ian never saw justice,’ his widow, Dee, told me this week. ‘He had absolutely no doubt of Janner’s involvement in paedophilia, and believed to the end that things had been covered up, and covered up far too easily.
‘We don’t know how many children suffered as a result of that cover up. But at least we are finally starting to see his crimes laid bare in print. Janner may never be prosecuted, but I think Ian would see that as the next best thing.’

Everyone who might have embarrassed the Police or Janner was arrested, threatened or died. Janner still lives in Luxury.
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Monday, 27 April 2015

Colin Wallace, Paul Foot,Alex Carlile QC, Jimmy Savile, Ted Heath and Westminsters pedophiles



Paul Foot 1937 - 2004
(Pulmonary Aneurysm and Pan-AM Flight 103)

Working Class Hero.
(Despite being born a toff)







Sometimes, often, too often, The Innocents and Fools must be sacrificed in public for the good of Guilty Men.


Guilty Men Hide in Plain Sight.


Cloaked in many robes of silk and ermine....


They pass, as though they might be the likes of us.


But they are not Us. Nor do they answer to Us.


Or any Court of Uses.









My heart sank as I began to read this:-


"... Can it any longer be said that the allegations of Colin Wallace are to be believed only by wild men of the Left, such as Ken Livingstone (or the author), who are wedded to notions of conspiracies in the state machine? It's is worth recalling in this context that many of the people in the centre of British politics - Humphrey Berkley, Alex Carlile, Laura Grimind - who have studied the case carefully are inclined to believe what Colin says."



Paul Foot,
Who Framed Colin Wallace?
1989




Alex Carlile QC It is fast becoming the badge of a pedophile to be made a QC or made a Sir by the Queen,


Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE, FRSA, QC


Former Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, June 1983 - May 1997
[Succeeded by the - very odd - Lembit Opik]




Appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire, New Year's Honours List for "services to National Security.


Queens' Counsel.


Deputy High Court Judge


Chairman of the Competition Appeals Tribunal


President of the Howard League for Penal Reform


Barrister


Defence Counsel for Royal Butler Paul Burrell


Chairman of the Chartered Security Professionals Registration Authority


Archetect of Control Orders, Ravager of Habeas Corpus


Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts


Trustee of the White Ensign Association (he is happy to provide service and relief for tired old sailors)


President of the Security Institute


Founder and Director of Living and Dying Well Ltd.


Member of the Athenaeum Club (see previous alum)


Grandfather


Master of the Bench, Grays' Inn


Welshman, champion of Devolution


Defence Counsel for Stuart Hazzell in the Tia Sharp Murder trial, architect of the shameful plea bargain.


State White-washer of Child Abuse Scandals


Savile Associate


Free and accepted Mason of the Blue Levels (?)




Pædophile.




I read on with further dismay:


"In July of 1987, on the prompting of Humphrey Berkley, a formidable trio of politicians decided to set themselves up as an informal committee of inquiry into what Fred and Colin were saying. They were Roy Jenkins of the SDP [Athenaeum], a former Home Secretary, Merlyn Reese from the Labour Party, a former Home Secretary [Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at the time of the alleged epidemic of Child Abuse, Member of Parliament for Leeds South - assuming the seat upon the (mysterious, untimely) death of Hugh Gaitskel - and Home Secretary 1976 - 1979, during the Salad Days of the Yorkshire Ripper "investigation" fiasco by West Yorkshire's Plod Bretheren], and the former Prime Minister, Edward Heath. [...!]










Colin Wallace (second from right) in the company of PM Ted Heath at Kincora childrens home







Barrister Michael Shrimpton Exposes Ted Heath (and others) from Paul Coker on Vimeo.


Heath, out!! Heath, out!! Heath, out!!




If only he COULD have bloody come out, several hundred lives might have been saved from ruin, trauma and torment... Indeed, saved outright, seems more likely the case....


There's the rub.






At school, there was a clichéd (and not very funny, even then) euphemistic description used of a particularly uncomfortable, warm, close day that went "I'm sweating worse than a nonce in Toys R' Us.




As crass, insensitive and obnoxious as the imagary of that simile goes, it doesn't begin to cover the sheer depths of corrupt depravity implicit in putting Heath in charge of such an investigative tribunal, unofficial as though it may be.


To say the lunatics have taken over the asylum does short shrift to lunacy.








As bitter experience, many times bitten forever shy has taught the student of the politics of the Deep State and Shadow Government over and over again, as Barbara Honnigar once so eloquently distill this bitter truth:


"The Iran Contra Committee Hearrings, like the Tower Commison before them, IN AND OF THEMSELVES was a Cover-up"



October Surprise: Honegger from Paul Coker on Vimeo.


Jinkies! Former Reagan White House staffer and truthteller Barbara Honegger vs. The Casey Family

Heath vs..Wilson The.10 Year Duel - Democratic Socialism vs. Paedocracy from Paul Coker on Vimeo.



Jimmy Savile, star of children's television favourite Jim'll Fix-It, sued the Sun in 2008 over a series of articles linking him to Haut de la Garenne, the Jersey children's home where human remains were found and children were allegedly tortured and sexually abused.


He initially denied ever visiting the home, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.


Savile's reaction was to slap an injunction on The Sun who had to withdraw the picture.


This was followed with a series of articles.


One asserted that Savile was unwilling to assist with the police investigation and another that he admitted having visited the home.


But then it brings in Edward Heath:


One of those who stood most to lose was Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister from 1970-74, who was known to visit the Jersey care home the Haute Garenne among others to take young boys on boating weekends on his yacht called 'Morning Cloud', or as his bodyguards referred to it, 'Morning Sickness'.


The person bringing children for him to abuse is Sir Jimmy Saville.


He was seen by the witness, victim, taking young boys onboard Heath's yacht The Morning Cloud when they were at party conference.


Allegedly Saville is known for supplying a number of high profile MP's with children for them to sexually abuse.


As a writer on Fortean Times notes:


"The sites which carried the Jersey picture usually segue into a very lurid mythos which has Savile pimping boys to Edward Heath for orgies on his yacht.


We are just a few yards from the Twilight Zone of pedophile lizards . . ."


[Yeah - funny, that...]


The Disclosure Project site, which also has the same allegations about Heath, also notes:


"Heath was warned on 4 occasions by the head of the Metropolitan police not to loiter in London's lavatories and not to try to pick up young boys.


Nonetheless, he quickly fell prone blackmailers who insisted he dress up in a ridiculous Gestapo uniform in which he was photographed.


Under threat of exposure Heath was forced to enter Britain into the Common Market, now the European Union, under very unfavourable conditions.


It is still a bone of contention among scholars how he became PM in front of the immensely popular and scholarly Enoch Powell who to all intents and purposes should have been Prime Minister.


We are drifting very far from credible truth here, and I think the notion that Edward Heath had a hidden private life, dressed up in a Gestapo Uniform (and no photos have come to light) and was blackmailed into joining the Common Market is a complete fantasy.


David Ike's site goes one step further, and has Heath not only involved in Satanic rituals, but also - according to an eyewitness - shape-shifting into a reptilian, during a ritual.


But the Heath story is interesting, because Heath is also linked to sexual abuse scandals regarding the Kincora boys' home in Ireland.


The earliest version of this in my lifetime was the Kincora boys' home affair in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.


Then, three gay men working there had abused the boys in their care for almost 20 years.


They had survived complaints from the boys, parents and other care workers, because one of them, the late William McGrath, was not only a senior figure in the Orange Order and a friend of the Reverend Ian Paisley, but also an informant for MI5.


Rumours spread of boys being taken to big country houses to be used by public figures, including Lord Mountbatten, the former head of MI6, Maurice Oldfield, and Edward Heath. These rumours are still circulating on the Internet.'


Where did these rumours come from?


Colin Wallace, a former MI5 officer, revealed that they were part of a plan by MI5 to discredit Heath, so that he would have to give way to a Prime Minister more in keeping with a stronger security service.


Colin Wallace, was an army intelligence officer attached to MI5 who resigned in 1976 protesting about MI5's anti-Wilson activities, but he says they also extended to Heath:


Wallace claims part of these covert psychological operations (known as 'psyops') were designed to prevent the election and re-election of a Labour regime.


'We also had a campaign going against Edward Heath and other prominent Tory MPs thought to be too liberal', says Wallace.


'The aim was to discredit them politically by planting smear stories against them in the press. '


For example, Heath and other bachelor politicians were wrongly 'linked' to homosexual scandals, such as the Kincora boys' home affair in Ulster.


The ultimate aim, Wallace says, was to remove Heath as leader of the Conservative Party and replace him with someone of a more resolute approach to political and industrial unrest.














Footy, you buried the lead - this is Big News!!!


This WAS big news...


It IS Big News, still..!!


"Meanwhile, Colin was making some headway in the political world... Lady Grimond took the papers to Alex Carlile, MP, legal affairs spokesman for the Alliance, as the Liberals and SDP then called themselves. Colin was summoned to the House of Commons for a long meeting with Carlile, which resulted in an extraordinary press release on 2 March [1987]:


"It is clear that Collin Wallace, a principled man, knew too much about the Kincora Boys' Home scandal. Since his trial and conviction in 1981 for manslaughter of antique dealer Johnathan Lewis, facts have emerged which suggest Mr. Lewis may well have been killed by some person or persons other than Colin Wallace, in a successful attempt to frame Wallace.


These facts suggest a link may exist between the Kincora affair and the fate of both Wallace and Lewis. I have asked the Home Secretary to refer Mr. Wallace's conviction to the Court of Appeal. This is a case in which justice may have been foiled by intruige."




The release was printed in the small-circulation Today newspaper (3rd March 1987) but nowhere else in the British media. Carlile put down his question to the Home Secretary, which was deflected, and asked for an adjournment debate, which was refused because the House was about to rise for Easter. Two and a half months later, Mr. Carlile made another even more extraordinary statement in Sunday Today (17 May 1987) :


"I believe there are many people in high laces and within the security services who feel I'll-will towards Wallace for exposing their activities. The question is that if MI5 was prepared to kill to get even with Wallace, why not kill him?

It may be that Wallace's allegations about MI5 Officers involved him in activities verging on the treasonable were widely known - so if any harm came to him the finger would point directly to them.

I have tried repeatedly in the House to get an adjournment in the conviction and will continue to do so."

The Right Honourable Alex Carlile was the Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire in the Welsh borders from 1983 to 1997, whereupon he was succeeded in his parliamentary seat by Lembit Opik and elevated to The Lords.

If you're the age I am, you view the Liberal Democratic Party of the UK through the lens of turncoat also-rans (Clegg), quirky eccentrics (Huhne), morose Whiskey-soaked alcoholics that couldn't make the cut in a major party (Kennedy), true Mavericks (Menzies-Campbell)... And, in their highest aspiration, true statesmen that transcend partisan politics possessing of gravitas, experience tempered with true humility.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many of those, and they have always been in short supply.

It's just a shame there's only ever going to be one Paddy Ashdowne in the world, because it makes you truly forget just truly how many real weirdos, freaks and headcases third party politics attracts like moths to it's flame.











For his part, Lembit Opik is well-known for nurturing a constantly rotating, fine selection of beards over the years in public.





Cheeky, cheeky.


But not even a coachload of Transylvanian pop starlets can make those not look like the kind of glasses a Child Molester would war and that creepy crooked smile NOT be horribly, awfully reminiscent f pop impressario Johnathan King's creepy, crooked smile.



Saturday, 25 April 2015

Serial pedophile Lord Janner escapes justice because UK Legal System exists to serve the rich powerful and corrupt


Barrister Alison Saunders who rose the head the UK States Prosecution  Department  and decided not to prosecute fellow Barrister Janner worked in the same Barristers Chambers as Lord Janner QC


 

The Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders, left, decided not to charge the Labour peer Lord Janner of Braunstone, right, with sex offences against vulnerable children 

Disturbing new questions are being asked about the decision not to prosecute Lord Janner over accusations of child abuse despite apparently compelling evidence being available at the time.
Suspicions that Establishment figures worked to protect the Labour peer from prosecution have grown with new revelations about his past and his influential connections.

There are now claims that:


* The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, who decided there is insufficient evidence to charge Lord Janner with 22 offences of paedophilia, worked at the same London chambers as the peer


* The retired judge reviewing past errors that prevented Lord Janner being brought to trial was a close friend of the senior barrister hired to defend the peer against abuse claims
Related Articles




CPS chief's husbands is member of 'tax loophole' film investment scheme 25 Apr 2015.


* Police were told more than 20 years ago that Lord Janner took a vulnerable boy to Labour Party offices and Parliament before molesting him at his Leicester home

* A children’s home manager told her employers that she feared Lord Janner was having sex with the teenager, but that her concerns were ‘swept under the carpet’

Senior politicians have already called for an independent examination of Ms Saunders’ decision not to bring charges against Lord Janner of Braunstone, QC, for 22 alleged counts of abuse against nine children on the grounds that the 86-year-old former MP for Leicester is suffering from dementia.

Simon Danczuk, the Labour candidate for Rochdale who helped expose the cover up of Cyril Smith’s abusive past, said it “once again shows all the hallmarks of a small clique of people who look after themselves.”

He added: “I’m of the view that in years to come people will look back on this case with incredulity and ask how on earth the director of public prosecutions reached such a decision not to prosecute.”


Read below for a lesson in how Rich, Powerful and corrupt,men and women protect themselves from natural justice.
Shows how the UK Houses of Parliament protected a serial pedophile in their midst allowing Lord Grenville JANNER to rape hundreds more children with impunity.
This is the same Parliament which lectures  Nations  around the world on Human Rights and ha
s the sole power to make laws for UK people and influences legal process around the world. 


Contempt of Court

HC Deb 03 December 1991 vol 200 cc223-42 
 Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Nicholas Baker.]
8.58 pm
 Mr. David Ashby (Leicestershire, North-West)
I rise to raise the subject of the operation of the law on contempt of court. Many hon. Members on both sides of the House would have wished to be in the Chamber and perhaps to speak in the debate, but, because the Government's business has been dealt with with more rapidity than they would have expected, they will be disappointed.
I am aware that a former colleague and writer on a national paper would have wished me to use my words with great care, but during the past few weeks Leicestershire has experienced the most horrific trial. I do not wish to deal with that trial, but something happened in the course of it which has astounded people and made them want to look again at the way in which we conduct ourselves and our trials in court.
In the course of that trial, one of the defendants, the major defendant, an evil man, chose to use the name of an honoured colleague in the House entirely for his own ends. He was determined, I think, to try to blackmail the—I almost put it in quotation marks—establishment.
I think that the defendant felt that, by naming persons who were in public life and putting them forward as people from whom children had to be defended—this was a child abuse case —he might frighten the authorities into not prosecuting or not pursuing the prosecution with the vigour that one might have expected. The defendant was wrong about that. He should have known that in Britain we conduct our prosecutions independently and fairly.
The defendant could not achieve his objective, but he sought to do so during the course of the trial, and anything said in the course of a trial is not subject to the laws of slander or libel when it is reported in newspapers. It was spread throughout the newspapers the length and breadth of the country, on the radio and on television.
The problem is that a person in that position has no way of defending his good name. If that person were immediately to issue a statement, which is the very least that one would expect could be done, he or she would be in contempt of court. The jury has to decide the case, and if anyone issued a statement denying that a witness or person is telling the truth, that would be a contempt of court. It would be interfering with the course of justice. It could be said that it would be trying to influence the jury to disbelieve the person who made the statement. So that person is in a hopeless and helpless position.
When such events happen so close to home, it strikes most hon. Members that this is an unjust and unfair procedure. There cannot be any justice in a person being pilloried, taken from pillar to post, by the press, when people are looking at him askance. The hon. Member concerned has not even been able to deny the allegations. He has not even been able to say that they are untrue. It affects himself and his family, and it must be a living hell.
Because that has happened to an hon. Member does not mean that it will not happen and has not happened to others who are not in the House. That is a danger into which any one of us could fall, and there is no way that one could stop it happening.
I recognise that, during any trial, it is absolutely necessary that the defendant and witnesses should be free  to give evidence—because if constraints were placed on them in that regard, it could not be a fair trial. Mr. Beck was certainly given a fair trial—and a run for his money.
Having said that, there ought to be a way of excluding gratuitous evidence affecting those who cannot protect themselves from newspaper, television, and radio coverage of a trial—such as is done in the case of rape victims.
 Mr. Ashby
In most cases, I hope. I thought that, these days, such protection was given almost without exception. In blackmail cases—the trial to which I referred earlier was a form of blackmail—the judge directs that the name of the blackmailer's victim should not be disclosed in open court, but instead it is written down and presented to the court in that way.
That is a case in which the judge has a discretion—but I am not sure that the judge would always want to have that discretion. In any event, the identity of an individual who has no opportunity to defend himself should not be disclosed by the media. That would not affect the trial. Witnesses would be permitted to say what they wanted without fear or favour, but the innocent person would be protected.
It would require only a small clause in the next Criminal Justice Bill to provide that protection. Such a provision would be well in keeping with the most excellent policy of this Government of protecting the innocent. which has extended to withholding the identity of rape victims, and of children giving evidence in child abuse cases. We have a good history of improving the processes in our courts, of ensuring that injustices do not occur.
Needless to say, there must be justice for the defendant, and for the public, in terms of the defendant being properly prosecuted—but there must be justice also for innocent people who find themselves caught up in a trial and unable to control what is said about them. That would be well in keeping with everything that we have said over the years. Such an improvement should take place in our criminal justice system.
I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General and my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Home Office will consider that it is time that their respective Departments started devising such a provision, so that it will be ready for the next Criminal Justice Bill and that further dreadful injustices will not be perpetrated.
I refer to the Member of Parliament for Leicester, West —as has my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham)—as my hon. and learned Friend. There have been times when we were adversaries, and we fought tooth and nail in this very Chamber when I first entered Parliament—but outside it, we are friends. In this Chamber, and on this matter, I call him my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner). I say that he and his family should not have been subjected to the ordeal that they were, and that we should strive to ensure decency in the courts in future.
 Mr. Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Many hon. Members have a great regard for our hon. and learned colleague, the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner), with the accent on "honourable". Many of us are not lawyers—happily, or unhappily for our pockets—so will my hon. Friend confirm that any wretched creature, such as this awful man who lampooned and libelled our good colleague, can say whatever they like  about any of us, yet if we defend ourselves we are in contempt of court? If that is so, I am sure that the House and the other place will want to sweep it to one side straight away. It is a calumny that none of us should have to put up with.
 Mr. Ashby
I thought that I had made it clear. Joe Bloggs, who may never have visited Cornwall, could go to Bodmin court and make what statements he wished about someone. It would increase the sentence, but when someone is facing a life sentence, or five life sentences, it does not make much difference.
I wish to draw my remarks to a close, so that other hon. Members may speak in this important debate.
9.11 pm
 Mr. Greville Janner (Leicester, West)
I am deeply grateful to the hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) for his friendship, for his kindness and especially for his courtesy in arranging this important debate. In the House, the enemy is sometimes behind one, but on this occasion it does not exist, and I am immensely grateful.
The hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West eloquently explained the laws on contempt and how they rightly protect those who are on trial. Wrongly, that law too often leaves those who are not on trial, but whose good names are unjustifiably savaged in court, totally unprotected. That is wrong.
Anyone involved in a trial can make any allegations they wish about anyone else—provided that the judge cannot disallow them as irrelevant—however harmful, horrendous and vile the lies may be. Those whose representations are attacked are forbidden even to deny the allegations. To do so would be a criminal offence—contempt of court.
As the House knows, Frank Beck of Leicester was convicted of a series of filthy and most serious crimes and received what must be a near record sentence—five life terms and a total of 24 years' imprisonment. He called Paul Winston as a witness. Long ago, when Winston was a deprived youngster living in a Leicestershire children's home, my family and I tried, unsuccessfully, to help him. Soon after, he was placed in a home run by Beck. After 15 years of Beck's influence—including a period when Winston lodged in Beck's private home—and after I had refused to provide Beck with references and shortly before Beck's trial was due to begin, they combined to make disgraceful, contemptible and totally untrue allegations of criminal conduct against me.
Their motive was made blazingly clear by a letter that I received only yesterday from a former cellmate of Beck's. I do not know the man, but he took it on himself to communicate with me. He writes that Beck told him that he—Beck —was going to frame me. According to Beck, that would take the light off him. To that end, Beck had enlisted the help of Winston. The former cellmate also wrote that the police knew that he was willing to give evidence to that effect if the Crown thought it necessary to call him. In the event, it did not, but the allegations against me were precisely as the prosecution alleged in Beck's trial —an attempted diversion from the reality of Beck's guilt. Both verdict and sentence showed—happily—that the attempt failed totally.
 However, is it not horrendous that Beck and Winston were able to make such terrible and lying accusations against me in court and that the media could, and with honourable exceptions did, report these falsehoods, all under the cloak of absolute privilege? I had effectively no legal rights in the matter, and I was not allowed even to nail the lies. No wonder many people were mystified by my uncharacteristic silence —it was imposed by the cruel operation of the rules on contempt.
Happily, I am a fairly tough character. I have been able to ride out the agony on this ordeal in good heart. But it has not been easy. As a Member of Parliament, I am now well placed to fight back. That would not have applied to any of our constituents or to any other citizens placed by law in this impossible and unjust situation.
The injustice was both apparent and real. It imposed a special burden on my wife, on my children, on my mother and my sister and on all my family. I pay my loving tribute to them for their staunch and cheerful support during our shared ordeal. I also thank the many hundreds of people who have so kindly written, spoken to or telephoned us to express their affectionate encouragement. Several of them were themselves victims of Frank Beck. I salute their courage and send them my profound sympathy. We ourselves have received nothing but kindness, confidence and concern. We are very grateful. We are deeply blessed with our friends, not least those on both sides of the House and our friends in Leicester, West.
Surely there should now be a swift review of these injustices in our law and its practice. Surely it must be wrong for people who have no part in a trial to be open to venomous, preposterous attacks, with no remedy, no recompense and, above all, no right of reply. Surely others should not be forced to suffer as we have done. If such a review does lead to a just and useful alteration in the operation of the law of contempt, we shall not have suffered in vain.
9.17 pm
 Mr. Michael Latham (Rutland and Melton)
It is a privilege to follow the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner), who has given distinguished service to the city and county of Leicester and Leicestershire for more than 21 years in this House. He has made it clear—yesterday and today—that there is absolutely no truth in the horrible allegations that were made against him in the Beck trial. The House, of course, immediately and unreservedly accepts that statement from him. It extends to him its affection and sympathy in the abominable ordeal which he, his beloved wife Myra and all his family have endured for so long.
The hon. and learned Gentleman's many friends in Leicestershire, of which I am very proud to count myself one, and indeed anyone in Leicestershire who knew anything about the matter, never believed any of the repulsive muck for one moment. However, it grieved us greatly that he had to endure it, and that there was no way in which he could clear his name and answer the vile accusations without prejudicing the trial of Beck. There must be a better system than that. Any public figure—indeed, any private figure—could find himself or herself trapped for months in the same nightmare as the hon. and learned Gentleman.
The House has a proud record of friendship and of closing ranks, irrespective of party allegiance, around  those of its Members who are unjustly attacked or threatened. I hope that that day has now dawned for the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West after the long night of despair, but we should now, as a matter of urgency, examine the existing procedures to ensure that such a horrible event, without any redress for those who have been so long and so unjustly traduced, can never happen again.
9.20 pm
 Mr. Keith Vaz (Leicester, East)
I first met my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) when, at his invitation, I came to the House with his son to see how Parliament operated. I would not have believed that a few years later I would have been selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Leicester, East, and would be his neighbour.
I am delighted to be here today to give my hon. and learned Friend my full support. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall) cannot be here today because of his parliamentary duties in Northern Ireland, but he joins me in believing my hon. and learned Friend to be the victim of a cowardly and wicked attack by people who simply did not care what damage they did to him or to anyone else. I too wish to extend my good wishes to my hon. and learned Friend's wife and family, and to all his friends, who I know have stood by him during these terrible months. They have shared that terrible burden.
My hon. and learned Friend is a distinguished Member for Leicester, West. His family in intertwined with the history of the city of Leicester. Before he was elected in 1970, his father was the Member for Leicester, West. The people of his constituency do not believe the lies. They are with him now, and they will be with him in the future, because they know of his unstinting service to anyone who approaches him, for whatever cause. He has vindicated himself, and all of us, in what he has said tonight.
I remember a speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short), who is another brave Member of the House who has suffered at the hands of a certain newspaper. I worked in the corridor where she had her office, and we Miss her in the west cloisters—especially her use of our fax machine. I recall that, just before her speech, my hon. Friend went through an agonising time wondering whether she should come before the House to tell it what she felt. Courageously, she did so—and struck a blow for every one of us in the House.
My hon. and learned Friend, too, is a brave man in what he has done, said and endured over the past weeks and months. Every one of us should be grateful to him, because, as the hon. Members for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham) and for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) said, what has happened to my hon. and learned Friend could happen to any one of us, so we should all be aware of it.
During the course of that terrible ordeal, I suggested to the Lord Chancellor that there should be a change in the law to provide for the protection of the innocent. The Lord Chancellor said that he would consider the idea. The Solicitor-General is here today, and I make him an offer. I came 18th in the ballot for private Members' Bills. I know that that is not very high —and there are other subjects that I wish to raise. Nevertheless, I would happily  introduce a Bill to cover the point if the right hon. and learned Gentleman would promise it a safe passage through the House.
We should not wait for another Criminal Justice Bill. There is parliamentary time, and we should get on with the job. I foresee that many unscrupulous people in this country would be prepared to do exactly the same thing again. If it is possible to do so, I will happily give the Solicitor-General my place.
 Mr. Martin M. Brandon-Bravo (Nottingham, South)
I am most grateful to the hon. Gentleman, and I join in the comments made so far. I am drawn 15th in the ballot. I have already tabled a Bill to provide for the innocent victims of sexual offences. It may be possible, if the Bill receives an unopposed Second Reading, for an amendment in Committee to address the point. I hope that it may be so.
 Mr. Vaz
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. Is there any improvement on 15th?
The great thing about my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West is that he is a great survivor. Almost alone in some cases, he has taken up great causes and won them. I listened to one of the greatest speeches that I have ever heard in the Chamber when my hon. and learned Friend spoke during the passage of the War Crimes Bill. I was very moved by what he said. He is a survivor, and I am sure that he will survive this great ordeal. I and colleagues will be with him, and the people of Leicester, West, whom he and his family have served so well over the past few decades, will also be with him.
9.25 pm
 Sir John Farr (Harborough)
I support all that has been said about the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner). I have probably known him as long as any hon. Member of any party has. I knew, admired and respected his father, who was a distinguished Labour Member, as his son is today.
I support all that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) said about the law and about the need for change. I support all that has been said by Labour lawyers about the law being an ass. It is an ass, and in this case, it has been very damaging to the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West and to his family. It is wrong. We have the opportunity and ability to put the law right simply in this place.
I can probably say with more licence than many others here that this will not be the first time or the last time that the law in Britain has been an ass and has been proved to be an ass. We have an opportunity to put it right tonight, and I am pleased to be associated with the tribute to the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West and to his family. They must never be subject to such a threat again.
9.27 pm
 Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)
The price that many hon. Members pay for their service in the House is frequently high. It is not always appreciated by those who do not closely understand the enormous pressures that are put not only on Members of Parliament, but on their families.
I have had the honour of knowing my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) for many years. I knew his father and mother before him. I  could almost say that I grew up with my hon. and learned Friend, except that he is far younger than I am. That means that I know him not only as an extremely upright, tolerant and charming man, but as a man who is trusted by people in all walks of life. He is trusted not only in his constituency and in the House, but by anyone in need of succour and support. Such a person can always go to my hon. and learned Friend and find understanding, tolerance and a real effort to help alleviate whatever difficulty that person faces.
I feel especially strongly about the ordeal that my hon. and learned Friend and his family have suffered because my own family went through a similar ordeal many years ago. People outside the House who, like myself, are not lawyers find it almost impossible to understand the byzantine intricacies of what people can and cannot do.
One of the frightening aspects of modern political life is the tremendous power in the hands of the press. Anyone could have found themselves in my hon. and learned Friend's position. The terrifying quality of the real and long travail that my hon. and learned Friend and his family have suffered was made 100,000 times worse by the behaviour of certain members of the press. As Members of Parliament we are never allowed to say the odd word of criticism of a free press because it is somehow felt that there is an interrelationship and a need for elected Members to get their views over.
That is true, but it is also true that those who seek to divert attention from their own open evil know that if they nominate or mention in a court case someone who is of interest to the press they will automatically receive publicity of a strength, breadth and constancy that they would not succeed in getting in any other way. Those who purport to be editors of responsible newspapers, news bulletins and television newscasts have a task to look carefully at the decisions they take and the manner in which they handle such matters.
It is no accident that it has taken a long time to take this case to court, and it is no accident that a long time passed before my hon. and learned Friend could make a statement and clear his name. All those things were aggravated, exploited and made 100,000 times worse by those who behaved as they did for the worst possible reasons—because they were concerned with the sale of newspapers and not with what they were doing to an honourable, learned and responsible man.
I hope that the House will seek to protect anyone who finds himself or herself in that position. I remember what it did to my family when they were named in a case many years ago and were unable to reply. I remember what that cost in personal unhappiness. It is too high a price for anyone who gives a commitment to this House as an elected Member. My hon. and learned Friend is a man of such stature that I can only pay tribute to him and give him one promise—that those of us who honour his friendship and look forward to enjoying his company for many years will not tell all Members of the House of Commons how many letters we have in our personal files signed, "Love, Greville".
 9.32 pm
 Mr. Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
I am not a lawyer, so unfortunately I cannot speak with the eloquence of someone who is familiar with the law, but I can speak as a layman who has been disgusted in recent weeks by the press coverage and the pillorying of an innocent victim mentioned in a court case. Justice should be seen to be done in a court case, but where is the justice in British law when an innocent individual who is not even a party in the case can be dragged through the court and vilified day after day by someone who remains in the gutter? There is something inherently wrong when British justice condones that state of affairs and allows it to happen and to persist.
As hon. Members have mentioned, the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) is in a position to try to do something about the grave injustice inflicted upon him and his family, because he is a Member of this House. As my hon. Friends have said, there are probably thousands of other people outside who have similarly had their names defamed and their private lives wrongly dragged through the courts and into the newspapers. They are the little people. They do not have the power or the backing to get the justice that they, too, rightly and richly deserve.
Something must be done. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) mentioned rape and blackmail cases. If it is possible in a British court for names not to be mentioned in such cases, why on earth cannot something be done to change the law so that innocent bystanders do not have to have their names dragged through the courts? I believe that that protection is long overdue, and this case has highlighted the fact more than many in recent years.
It is a sad fact of life that there are, unfortunately, people who believe everything they read in the newspapers. I am afraid that by many people in this country the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West has been found guilty. They do not understand what reporting on the courts in a newspaper is all about. They see an accusation in the newspaper and take it as a fact; or it is a case, of "no smoke without fire", to use that dreadfully trite expression. We all know that it is not true, but for far too many people it is true and they believe it.
I hope that two things will come out of this debate. It has provided an opportunity for the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West for the first time to state the truth and to clear his name of these despicable accusations, so I hope that the newspapers which were ready to give as much coverage as they saw fit to the case when it was going on will tomorrow morning make sure that the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West gets just as much coverage so that people are left in no shadow of a doubt that there was not one scintilla of truth in the ghastly, grubby accusations that that horrendous man was prepared to make under the cloak of privilege in a court of law.
I should like to say one thing to my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, who is present tonight. I am sure that many other hon. Members would say the same. Surely there is now an overriding need not only to examine and look again at this aspect of the law and of our court proceedings, and not just to think about it but actually to do something. Something should be done quickly, though not in such a hurry that it fails to solve the problem, so that never again will anyone have to go through the sort of nightmare that the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West and his poor, suffering family have had to go through. If something can be done quickly, it will not make it all worth while, but it will right a great wrong.
9.37 pm
 Mr. Merlyn Rees (Morley and Leeds, South)
I rise to speak briefly—principally, like so many others, because of my high regard for my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) and his family, whom I know, including his father and mother. But that would not be enough, and I wish to make two further points.
In recent years—since the televising of the House, I suppose—people have asked me, as they have asked other hon. Members, why the House of Commons behaves so badly, like a bunch of yobs. One tries to explain that it happens on the odd occasion, at Question Time, which is not a great parliamentary occasion, and that is what the media pick up. What the media, whether television or the press, never pick up is an occasion such as this, when the House of Commons is at its best in terms of the relationships between people in all parts of the House.
I wonder to what extent this debate will be reported. If we were all shouting at one another, the media would be here. What the hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) has done tonight, and what other hon. Members on both sides of the House have done, although in this respect principally on the Conservative Benches, is to their credit and to the credit of Parliament.
My second point is this. My hon. and learned. Friend the Member for Leicester, West has had his name in all the newspapers, and in one newspaper in particular. My right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General will be dealing with the question of contempt. I hope that he will not forget the newspapers, in particular. I wonder how many of them will fill their pages tomorrow or the day after in the way they have done in the past few weeks. There is a great deal of talk about freedom of the press. When I think of what went on in eastern Europe, and in fascist Europe before the war, when I was younger, I am glad that we have a free press.
 Ms. Short
We do not have a free press.
 Mr. Rees
We have a press that is free in one sense: it engages sometimes in the most scurrilous reporting and colours it up under the heading of a free press. I wonder what the press will do about this matter in the next few days. With a few exceptions, I suspect that it will do very little.
9.39 pm
 Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South)
I am delighted to take part briefly in the debate. The hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner). whom I am pleased to call my hon. and learned Friend, and I entered the House on the same day, and we have been friends ever since. We worked together to form the committee for the release of Soviet Jewry, of which he was the first secretary and I the first chairman. We have not always agreed—I think that he was profoundly wrong on war crimes—but we have always respected and liked each other. I was as appalled as anyone at what happened in recent weeks. It was a terrible ordeal for my hon. and  learned Friend and for his family. I endorse everything that has been said from both sides of the House in support and admiration of him and of the courage and fortitude that he and his family have displayed.
I should like to address my few brief remarks to something else. I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend will endorse what I say. It has already been mentioned that those who serve in the House have an opportunity to put wrongs right. My hon. and learned Friend was able to apply for an Adjournment debate. When it was not appropriate to have it last week, my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) made the facility available this evening. Had he not done so, another hon. Member would have obliged, and we would have had the chance to debate the matter and to make the points which have been made with such eloquence and fervour on both sides of the House.
What would have happened if the man who had been traduced and vilified had been a village schoolmaster? What if he had been a vicar, a Methodist minister or a rabbi? He would not have had this forum. He would not have had the opportunity to command the attention of the media. Although I endorse totally what the right hon. Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees) said and have doubts about how much of the debate will be reported, nevertheless, we have this privilege and opportunity, but our constituents do not.
Let us imagine the unspeakable agonies of horror that would have been suffered by someone in —I will not say a less exalted—a different position who had been similarly vilified. Perhaps in a moment of desperation he would have written to his local newspaper. Perhaps he would have gone to his Member of Parliament. As a result, there might have been some minor publicity, but how right my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) was: people would have talked about there being no smoke without fire. Mud would have stuck. A career of public service in a quiet and restricted environment might have been ruined.
There is something wrong with a law that allows that to happen. What we must do because of this horrific and terrible example—I use those words deliberately—is put the law right. In the high court of Parliament, we have a unique opportunity to put the law right. I look forward to a positive and enthusiastic response from my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General. Even though I did not draw even 15th in the ballot and can offer neither blackmail nor whitemail, I hope that there will be a firm commitment from my right hon. and learned Friend, endorsed by the Opposition parties, that the law needs to be amended, not to restrict in any way the freedom of those who are innocent until proved guilty but to prevent the vile calumny which we are discussing from being perpetrated again.
If that happens, the sufferings of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West, of Myra and of his family, whom many of us know and admire, will not have been in vain. This case will produce something that all of us want to produce —a positive improvement in the law. We can expect no more than that, and we can certainly ask for no less.
 9.44 pm
 Mr. Alex Carlile (Montgomery)
I can but echo the tributes that have been paid to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner). He is a man of determination and enthusiasm, whose integrity and will power have crossed party lines. I for one value the friendship that he has given me in the eight and a half years that I have been a Member of the House, despite the fact that we are in different parties and disagree on many issues.
Mr. Beck is an evil man. Perhaps more to the point, he is a corrupt man. Several hon. and hon. and learned Members who are present, some of whom have already spoken, have, like me, had the opportunity over the years in their professional lives to meet corrupt and evil people and to examine and sometimes cross-examine them in court. I am sure that those who share my professional experience will agree that those who have trodden in the mire of corruption all too easily become corrupt to the core. They cease to recognise the difference between what is good and what is bad and between what is honourable and what is corrupt.
They turn, like Mr. Beck, easily to more corruption and try to wheedle their way out of their own previous corruption—and that is what has happened in this case. That is why my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West was slandered with dreadful calumny by Mr. Beck. That is why it does not surprise me in the least to hear from my hon. and learned Friend about the letter that he received yesterday from Mr. Beck's erstwhile cellmate. It is common for such evidence to appear, but all too often only after a great deal of harm has been done.
I believe in jury trial and that, however evil they are, people should be entitled to present their defence to a jury if they wish to do so. Mr. Beck would have been extremely well advised to plead guilty. He would have been well advised not to drag the name of my hon. and learned Friend through the courts and an undiscriminating press. He would have been well advised not to compel—because he did compel—his own lawyers to regard what he said about my hon. and learned Friend as part of his case. However, he chose to do so.
I suggest to the Solicitor-General that a clear intellectual distinction can be drawn between evidence that relates to those who are parties to a trial and those who are not parties to a trial.
I can see the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) in his place across the Chamber. I know that he has shared my experience many times of being involved in what we lawyers call "cut-throat" trials. Those are trials in which the one defendant makes accusations against the other, and the other often makes even worse accusations against the one. The distinction between those cases and this is that the lawyer for the other can immediately attack the one—there is somebody there to protect the reputation of each defendant who is in the court—but in a case such as that which has affected my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West, there is no such opportunity to defend oneself. There is not even, as we have heard, any opportunity to make a realistic and meaningful statement in public, not even in the House, for to do so might affect the outcome of the trial.
Within the past few years, we have witnessed a case in which a senior Minister made a statement during a trial in which the defendants were convicted. In consequence, those defendants had their convictions quashed on appeal. It was a trial of the greatest public importance, involving alleged IRA terrorism. It demonstrated clearly to all Members of Parliament the dangers of making even inadvertent and mild statements about a trial while it is taking place.
Therefore, I respectfully suggest to the Solicitor-General that a clear and simple change can be made to the law which would protect those who are not the parties to a trial—third parties outside a trial. It would in no way inhibit the right of a defendant to make his defence, however dishonest. It would in no way inhibit his right to instruct his solicitors, however egregiously. But it would prevent the press from publishing calumnies which cannot be answered, as in the Beck case, sometimes until weeks or even months after the allegation is made in the public arena of a court. I hope that we shall hear the Solicitor-General tell us shortly that such an amendment has the approval and support of the Government.
9.50 pm
 Mr. Ivan Lawrence (Burton)
It is most unusual for an Adjournment debate at this hour, at the end of which there will be no vote, to attract so many Members into the Chamber. Come to think of it, it is most unusual at any hour for so many hon. Ladies and hon. Gentlemen in the Chamber to remain seated when I rise to speak. If the debate had started at 10 pm when it was scheduled to start, and if the normal business of the House had continued, many more hon. Ladies and hon. Gentlemen from both sides of the House would be here tonight.
The reason why so many of us are here is the immense regard which we all have for the hon. and learned Member, our friend, for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner). We have immense regard for the way in which he conducts himself not only in Leicester but in the rest of the United Kingdom and on behalf of the United Kingdom abroad. He is a famous personality. The number of people to whom he is a friend, if not because he has met them but because they know of the good works that he has done not only in Britain but throughout the world, must run into many hundreds of thousands.
It is precisely such a person who can be brought lowest by the hateful things that may be reported about him in a court of law. The matter that has given me most cause for admiration is the way in which he has conducted himself while the horrible events have gone on and been reported in the press. That shows an inner strength which must be the result of his deep religious conviction. We all have reason to regard him, the causes that he espouses and his beliefs highly.
We must address what can be done to stop this kind of thing happening again. It is difficult and probably impossible to allow people thus abused to make statements in the press which can only interfere with the process of justice by which someone is tried. However mean, miserable and undeserving a defendant is, he is entitled under our system to a fair trial and not to be the subject of attack, however justified, from someone who has no particular connection with the issue in the case, even if the defendant brought it on himself.
It would be almost impossible to ban such remarks in a court of law, but there is no reason why a judge should not be empowered to say that, in an appropriate case, the name of the person maligned should not be repeated in the  press. There does not have to be a statutory ban—it can be left to the good judgment of the court. As in so many other matters, the judge should be given the discretion to tell the press that they may not publicise the name of a person, because to do so would be in contempt of court.
I know that my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General is giving urgent consideration to the matter. Will he seriously consider whether that sort of amendment would be acceptable to everyone? I urge him not merely to consider the matter but, because of the strength of feeling shown here, to take action as soon as possible, so that our hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West and his family will not have suffered in vain.
9.55 pm
 Mr. Roland Boyes (Houghton and Washington)
Before I became a full-time politician, I was assistant director of social services in a large authority. Wicked episodes were often brought to my attention, but nothing either then or since has been as evil as the man Beck. In this short speech, I wish to think for a moment about all the youngsters who were so badly damaged and hurt by that evil man. He well deserved the sentence he got, but to many of us five life sentences do not seem quite enough for what he did to our youngsters.
Our hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) was also caused grave hurt. Having known him in this country and having travelled around Israel with him, I know that he is tough and resilient. I have a high regard for him, and I pay him tribute. I think especially of his family. When we come here, we know what we are up to, but our families, hundreds of miles away, suffer the most. We can rationalise and fight our way out, but they are often deeply hurt. I am sure that all hon. Members in the Chamber will be thinking not only of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West but of his wife and children.
9.58 pm
 Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South)
My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Hughes) has asked to be associated with my unusually brief remarks.
I am happy to count the Janner family as friends. I congratulate them all on the quiet dignity and courage that they have displayed in recent weeks while vile, vicious and baseless allegations were made by a proven liar. The fact that such allegations could be made under the cloak of privilege, and the victim has had no right of redress or to cross-examine those making them, has been a blot on our system of justice. I hope that that basic injustice can be tackled. If it can, good will come out of the traumas that our colleague has suffered and that will be for the good of potential victims. We have been through a ghastly situation, and I hope that some good can come of it.
9.59 pm
 Mr. Derek Foster (Bishop Auckland)
I rise to break my Trappist vow of six years to say how honoured and privileged I have been to attend and take part in this debate. We cannot always say that. Indeed, as Whips we must sometimes sit through long and tedious debates—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Many of my hon. Friends will take revenge on me for making that remark, because the  Whips hijack hon. Members into taking part in, and thereby lengthening, long and tedious debates. However, this has been a very special debate.
I wish at the outset to thank the hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) for initiating the debate. It was a generous gesture on his part. Adjournment debates are hard won and precious to Back-Bench Members. We thank him sincerely for his generous gesture in allowing this debate to take place.
 It being Ten o'clock, the motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.
 Motion made and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn. —[Mr. Wood.]
 Mr. Foster
It is a reflection on the unusual nature of relationships in the House that a member of an opposing party can make such a generous gesture. Again, we thank him deeply. I have rarely seen the House so unanimous in warmth and affection, and especially in its understanding of the severe ordeal that one of our colleagues and his family have had to endure for many months.
A Chief Whip is in a special position to be able to understand the many strains in the lives of colleagues that are unheard of beyond the bounds of Westminster, and often unheard of except within very small circles in this place. The strains of being a Member of Parliament are extremely great from time to time. The strains on families are also great, and their sacrifices are rarely known.
The way in which our hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) has conducted himself has been a model for all of us to follow, though we hope and pray that most of us will not have to undergo that sort of ordeal. If we do, we now have a model and can say that he and his family have been through it and have borne it with great fortitude, resilience and courage—as has been said, only through their deep religious faith—and that that has been a great lesson to us all. A powerful case has been made for a change in the law. I am sure that the Solicitor-General will address himself, as only he can, to those remarks.
My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition would have liked to be here this evening because I know well that he has been a tremendous support to my hon. and learned Friend and his family in many small and touching ways, which I know have been deeply appreciated.
 Mr. Janner
indicated assent.
 Mr. Foster
If the Opposition could facilitate a change in the law—it would be widely welcomed, as is clear from what has been said in the debate tonight—I am sure that my right hon. and hon. Friends would be willing to do what they could to assist.
 10.3 pm
 The Solicitor-General (Sir Nicholas Lyell)
It is absolutely clear that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) has done the House a service by raising this matter. I associate myself with the remarks made by hon. Members in all parts of the House about the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner), who has been through an ordeal that none of us would wish to share. I associate myself also with the remarks made by the Opposition Chief Whip about the dignity with which the hon. and learned Gentleman has borne himself in adversity.
 When the House is unanimous on a subject, it is a moment to think deeply, particularly when profound principles are involved. As on so many occasions when we discuss matters in the House, we are faced with a conflict between principles, each of which is important, and with the question of how properly to resolve such a conflict. This is not the first time that this issue has reached the public domain, or will it be the last time that the House is asked to focus on the rights and duties of citizens in circumstances—from time to time inevitable circumst-ances—when the interests of one individual or one set of individuals necessarily impinge on and potentially damage the interests of others.
We have heard speeches not only by my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West, who initiated the debate, and the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West but by the hon. Members for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz), for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham), for Harborough (Sir J. Farr), for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns), for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack), and for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall), my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) and the right hon. Members for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees) and the hon. Members for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody), for Houghton and Washington (Mr. Boyes), the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile), and the Opposition Chief Whip.
The speeches by and in support of the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West raised important questions of principle that govern three important matters: first, the need for open justice; secondly, the provision of proper opportunities for the defence in criminal proceedings to deploy the case on which the defence relies; and thirdly, the issue on which we focused most, the effect of the existence of those rights on third parties who necessarily can play no part in the proceedings and who consequently have no immediate opportunity to defend themselves or their reputations.
The principle that justice should, as far as possible, be open is central to our system of criminal justice. It is a fundamental requirement of any democratic and just society that the process by which individuals are accused, tried and, where appropriate, punished should be open, and exposed to public scrutiny and comment at an appropriate moment, other than in wholly exceptional circumstances—for example, where on grounds of national security the court must receive evidence about matters of security or intelligence; or where, for purposes of the administration of justice, particular matters must be dealt with concerning informants. The rule that criminal proceedings are conducted in open court would be hollow unless those proceedings could be freely reported by the press and television, and the media in general. For that reason, both Houses of Parliament deliberately built into the Contempt of Court Act 1981 a robust declaration of the right to report proceedings in open court, subject to one limited exception.
Section 4(1) of the 1981 Act provides: Subject to this section a person is not guilty of contempt of court under the strict liability rule in respect of a fair and accurate report of legal proceeding held in public, published contemporaneously and in good faith.The only exception is where it appears to a court that the reporting of the proceedings before it might prejudice the  administration of justice in other proceedings imminently pending in another court, or shortly to follow thereafter. Even then, there is no power to prohibit reporting of proceedings. All that the judge may order is a postponement until the risk to the administration of justice has passed. The law does not permit the right of the press freely to report proceedings in open court to be fettered, notwithstanding that such reporting may be or would be embarrassing, damaging or inconvenient to an individual who has featured in the case. That would be a major inroad into a constitutional safeguard and would expose the courts to the risk of pressure from interested third parties.
 Mr. Cormack
Are we not dealing with something a little more serious than inconvenience? I respect what my right hon. and learned Friend is seeking to say, but surely no true freedom would be properly fettered if there were an inhibition on the publication of names.
 The Solicitor-General
We are certainly dealing with matters much more serious than mere inconvenience. Perhaps I should have reordered my remarks and said "inconvenient, embarrassing or damaging"—sometimes deeply damaging. To take my hon. Friend's point, I ask the rhetorical question: is it possible to solve this grave difficulty simply by suppressing a name or ordering the press not to publish it? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I hear a number of my hon. Friends saying yes, but I invite the House to reflect cautiously before interfering in what seems to be a small particular in the right of the press to make a fair and accurate report.
 The Solicitor-General
Yes, the press or television.
Let us reflect on the matter for a moment. If one suppresses the name, one does not suppress the rest of what is reported, so it is reported that someone, or perhaps more than one person who has been defamed, has done something in the course of the case and it may be that he or she is not known to the public and is of no interest to the public. So far, I am happy to say that in the case of children —I was about to come to that exception—and in the case of rape victims, the balance that Parliament has chosen, in that it has granted exceptions in those cases, has proved to be an effective one. However, once we start to distort the operation of open justice and the consideration of the matters, we may very well, through the operation of rumour and all its insidious effects that are so damaging in libel cases—the only justification that I know for the high damages granted in such cases—inflict more damage on justice than we realise.
 Mr. John Marshall
Will my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that in cases of blackmail one refers to Mr. X. Surely in a similar case such as this one, it would be fairer to the individual involved to refer to him or her as Mr., Mrs.,Miss or Ms. X.
 The Solicitor-General
I ask my hon. Friend to reflect that, if Mr. X were a Member of the House, or Mrs. X were a member of the nobility—[HON. MEMBERS: "Lady X."] If she were a Lady, she would still be referred to as Mrs. X. If the person were a member of the nobility or someone in whom the press had an interest, rumour would  start to circulate, and damage could not be avoided. I have acknowledged the great damage done to the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West.
 Mr. Burns
Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?
 The Solicitor-General
No; otherwise, I shall not finish what I have to say. I apologise for not giving way, but I am sure that the House will understand.
When one conceals matters, one does not necessarily quieten them. The law does not permit the right of the press freely to report proceedings in open court to be fettered, notwithstanding that such reporting would be inconvenient, embarrassing or damaging to some individual who has featured in the case. That would be a major inroad into a constitutional safeguard and would expose the courts to the risk of pressure from interested third parties.
Anyone who has prosecuted in the criminal courts—I see a number of such hon. Members here —will know that, in case after case, it is necessary to bring in damaging things about third parties. They may be co-accused who have never been tried and are entitled to the presumption of innocence, or they may be people against whom the defendant has a grudge of any nature. Are all those names to be kept from the press? Is it always to be Mr. X or Mrs. X? I suggest—I put it no higher, and we shall resolve nothing tonight —that we should think very carefully indeed.
Parliament, which has considered the matter carefully, has decreed that the only exceptions should be children involved as victims and the victims of rape. The law of contempt is a doctrine of wide scope which manifests itself in a variety of types of contempt. Their common feature —if I can capture the interest of hon. Members—is that they seek to ensure the efficacy and integrity of the judicial process, which is of concern to us all, so that justice may be administered to all without interference from any quarter.
Proceedings for contempt of court are the means by which obedience to orders of the court and adherence to undertakings are ensured. Those minded to take reprisals against witnesses on account of the evidence that they have given can also be punished for contempt. Those who disrupt proceedings or undermine public confidence in the administration of justice by scandalising the judiciary are also liable to be dealt with for contempt of court. The media are also required, when reporting matters which are relevant to imminent legal proceedings, to ensure that their reports do not give rise to any substantial risk of prejudice.
 Ms. Short
The mood of the House has changed since the Solicitor-General started speaking, and a mood of exasperation is now spreading widely. Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman anything positive to say to us, or will the rest of his speech simply seek to justify the status quo and say no to everything that has been put before him tonight?
 The Solicitor-General
It sounds as though the hon. Lady has made up her mind.
 Ms. Short
I think that we should look at the question.
 The Solicitor-General
What I am putting before the House are serious considerations about the balance between the rights of individuals, which may be damaged  in the course of a case but where the record can subsequently be put straight, the rights of those who are before the courts, accused, to deploy their defence, and the rights of the public at large to scrutinise that process.
I ask the House to be careful when it has one of its own Members in its charge. We are right to sympathise with the hon. and learned Member for Leicester West.
 Mr. Cecil Franks (Barrow and Furness)
It is the principle that matters.
 The Solicitor-General
Exactly. My hon. Friend is entirely right: it is the principle that matters, and the ultimate principle is that there should be justice and that justice should be seen to be done.
 Mr. Franks
There are many lawyers in the House, including myself, and we take a completely different view. I speak not as a lawyer but as a politician. It is just not good enough if the House does nothing. I have the greatest sympathy for hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner), but there is a principle involved and it is about time that my right hon. and learned Friend stopped speaking as a lawyer and started acting as a politician.
 The Solicitor-General
I hear what my hon. Friend says. I have had many pleasant discussions with him, but I must say to him and to the House in all firmness that to ask us to talk about justice as politicians is to go down a very dangerous road. When we consider justice, we stand back as politicians and invite independent courts and wholly independent juries to consider hotly contested matters.
Right hon. and hon. Members are failing to remember in how many criminal trials it happens, often necessarily, that allegations are made by the prosecution or defence which are damaging to persons who are not immediately before the court.
 Mr. Franks
Let us deal with that point.
 The Solicitor-General
My hon. Friend says that we ought to deal with that point. The suggestion before the House is that, in such cases, it would be right and proper not to publish the names of the persons involved. The House has not focused its mind yet on whether any name should be published, or whether only some names should or should not be published.
 Ms. Short
The right hon. and learned Gentleman will not even consider that point.
 The Solicitor-General
I ask the hon. Lady to relax for a moment. I am not saying that the country should not consider the matter. It will undoubtedly be one for public debate, and rightly so. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West and the ordeal suffered by the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West will make it a matter, rightly, for public debate. Nevertheless —
 Mr. Ashby
rose
 Mr. Speaker
Order. I believe that the Solicitor-General does not want to give way.
 The Solicitor-General
I will give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicestershire, North-West, who initiated the debate.
 Mr. Ashby
I appreciate that one must approach the matter with considerable caution, and that we cannot go at it in a bull-at-a-gate fashion. It is important to hear the arguments on both sides, and to consider them carefully. I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for replying to the debate in the way that he is doing. I accept everything that has been said so far, but is it really necessary for the persons in question to be the subject of media coverage? I cannot see how it aids justice one iota for that to happen.
 The Solicitor-General
What is reasonable and what the law should forbid are not necessarily the same. We have a very wide press in this country, and we count that as one of our freedoms. However, it embraces a whole spectrum —from a deeply responsible press that is extremely careful in what it publishes and which tries to balance one thing with another, to an element that many people regard, perhaps rightly, as frequently scurrilous or simply aimed at making a profit. I suggest, however, that that is part of a free society. Although it has disadvantages, it is a great deal better than the kind of society in which there is no free press, or in which the press is gagged by more and more complex and frequently unworkable rules.
I must move on, because there are one or two other points and safeguards that I want to mention. As I said, safeguards apply in the case of children and of rape victims, and they seem to have worked well. The judge also has the power, where the reporting of one case may affect the interests of justice in a subsequent case, to postpone the reporting of the earlier case.
 Mr. Burns
Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?
 The Solicitor-General
I shall not give way to my hon. Friend, as I believe that I have done so once already and I have only a little time left.
Professional safeguards apply to those who appear for the prosecution and the defence. The Bar code of conduct requires that those who appear should use their powers as responsibly as the interests of justice may reasonably allow. Paragraph 610 of the Bar code provides, first: Counsel must not make statements or ask questions which are merely scandalous or intended or calculated only to vilify insult or annoy either a witness or some other person; counsel must if possible avoid the naming in open Court of third parties whose characters would thereby be impugned; counsel must not suggest that a witness or other person is guilty of crime, fraud or misconduct or attribute to another person the crime or conduct of which his lay client is accused"— [HON. MEMBERS: "What about this case?"]— unless such allegations go to a matter in issue (including the credibility of the witness) which is material to his lay client's case and which appear to him to be supported by reasonable grounds. I hear hon. Members saying, "What about this case?" I am on common ground when I remind the House that this case was immensely serious. If someone is to be tried for matters as serious as those for which Mr. Beck was tried and to receive the condign punishment that Mr. Beck received, it is essential that he should have a fair trial and that he should be given every opportunity to deploy his defence.
Hon. Members are saying, "We all agree, but what about the hon. and learned Member for Leicester. West?" I must remind the House of another important principle. If I may say so, I acquit the hon. and learned Gentleman of the misguided approach that some hon. Members are taking. He has deported himself with great dignity. That is the way in which we should deport ourselves. He was not on trial. His opportunity to answer necessarily had to be deferred until the trial was over, and he has now had an opportunity to be heard. [Interruption.] I hear the point that other people do not have the same privilege as hon. Members.
The suggestion is not that we should lift the laws of libel, which would be one other possible step to take, because if we were to do so witnesses would be inhibited and the opportunity for justice would be damaged.
 Mr. Lawrence
Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?
 The Solicitor-General
No, I am sorry, but I must conclude.
The hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West is not on trial. He has had an opportunity to make his point, and I wish to end with one important point. As a result of a number of miscarriages, we are scrutinising our system of justice. I hope that the House will never forget that no one is guilty of an offence unless they have been duly tried and convicted and that everyone is entitled to the same presumption of innocence.
 Mrs. Llin Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Tell that to the press.
 The Solicitor-General
I do tell that to the press.
If I may speak for the Law Officers of the Crown, we are scrupulous in bearing that vital principle in mind. We are right to be scrupulous to maintain our system of open justice, to require that people be tried for charges the purport of which is known, and in courts which are open to the public and to the press and can be fully and fairly reported. Despite the undoubted hardship, not only to the famous such as the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West and other hon. Members, but to those who are known only to their families—I know from correspondence that many ordinary people suffer hardship because of what is said and done in court cases—I suggest to the House that we interfere with this at our peril, and at peril to our liberties and system of open justice. I commend that principle most sincerely to the House.
 The motion having been made at Ten o'clock, and the debate having continued for half an hour,MR SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
 Adjourned at half past Ten o'clock.