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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC Investigation Report

D.2: The Labour Party

2. In considering the response of the Labour Party to the allegations made against Lord Janner, we heard evidence that local Party members sought to raise those allegations with officials in the Party at a national level.[1] They were unable to obtain an appropriate meeting in which to discuss the matter. There was, at the relevant time, no formal training or structure that provided a process by which safeguarding concerns could be reported.

3. It was not enough for the Labour Party to have left this matter to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. Lord Janner remained in a privileged and powerful position as a Member of Parliament (MP). This position had allowed him access to children’s homes and schools in the past, and may have done so again.

4. The current Labour Party General Secretary, Mr David Evans, provided the Inquiry with a statement explaining the systems that are now in place for reporting such concerns.[2] He explained that, since 2018, the Labour Party has published its Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The policy makes clear that individuals within the Party “have a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and/or allegations” to the Labour Party Safeguarding Unit or their Regional Safeguarding Lead.[3] The Labour Party Safeguarding Unit does not itself investigate the allegations or concerns, but ensures that the appropriate referrals are made to the police and/or statutory agencies, and “that effective internal action is taken to keep people safe”.[4]

5. Mr Evans explained what would happen should child sexual abuse allegations be made against a sitting MP today. He said that the General Secretary and other senior figures would become involved in the matter as soon as possible, and the Party Leader and Chief Whip would be notified. Other steps would include an immediate assessment of the safety of any children and adults potentially at risk, consideration of whether Party membership and the Parliamentary Whip should be suspended (which would prevent the MP being reselected as a Parliamentary candidate), and referrals to relevant statutory agencies. At the conclusion of any external investigation (for example, by the police), the relevant Labour Party officials responsible for safeguarding would request information about that investigation, its conclusions and the reasons for those conclusions. They would then assess whether an internal investigation should be conducted. Mr Evans made clear that such an investigation could lead to the allegations being held to be “substantiated” even if no charges had been brought as a result of the investigation by the police or the Crown Prosecution Service.[5]

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