Lord Janner's daughter tells ITV News her father will be cleared following 'witch hunt'

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner

The daughter of the sex abuse-accused Lord Greville Janner has criticised the "witch hunt" of her late father, and described the allegations made against him as "devastatingly inaccurate, wrong and grotesque".

The former Labour peer, who suffered from dementia, was charged with 22 sexual offences dating back to the 1963, with many alleged victims under 16 at the time.

In her first television interview, Marion Janner told ITV News she has "never" questioned her father's innocence and is "absolutely" convinced his name will be cleared.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) brought legal proceedings against Janner last year but the situation was left in limbo following his death in December.

A "trial of the facts", where a jury considers the evidence but does not make a verdict on guilt, was to due to go ahead in April, before it was called off.

However the allegations will still be examined by the government's independent inquiry into child sexual abuse led by Justice Lowell Goddard, which is also looking into historic allegations of sex in a number of institutions.

Ms Janner said it is "utterly bewildering" that the allegations against her father were examined first by Goddard.

Ms Janner said it was "absolutely right" that people's allegations were examined by the police, but added: "people are starting to understand that false allegations can be made."

"There's all the difference in the world between examining such serious allegations and (being) automatically guaranteed that you will be believed.

"It's exceptionally important that people who have experienced sexual abuse or making allegations of sexual abuse are really very, very carefully listened to and supported, but the pendulum swung way too far the other way which people recognise now.

"There is all the difference in the world between being sensitive, supportive and respectful and automatically believing any allegation that anyone makes and particularly if the person that they're making the allegation about can't defend themselves."

  • Three chances 'missed' to prosecute Janner

Lord Janner was the MP for Leicester West. Credit: PA

In January, an independent inquiry found three chances were missed to prosecute the former Leicester West MP over sex abuse allegations.

But Ms Janner condemned the CPS' decision to press ahead with charges despite the 87-year-old's dementia.

"It was outrageous, surreal, Kafkaesque. It was appalling," she said.

  • On her father's alleged victims

Ms Janner said she doesn't feel anger towards her father's alleged victims, and believes there are a "range of complex reasons" which explain why people make allegations of historical sex abuse.

"Other people who've written books about having false allegations written against them describe the reasons why they believed it occurred," she said.

"They say fantasists, the financial compensation, distressed individuals. The most complicated are people who absolutely have been abused but not by the person they're accusing. So there's a whole range of complex reasons for why people come forward.

"I don't actually feel angry about the individuals (making the allegations) because I suspect they've had very difficult lives and I sort of understand why people might do that in that situation."

  • Evidence 'proves' his innocence

Janner made a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court last August. Credit: Reuters

Marion also claimed evidence "proves" her father's innocence - and insisted her family will clear his name.

"I can see why people would think 'Oh that's very sweet, she loves her Dad" - it's not about that. It's actually looking at the hard evidence about his life, and about the nature of the current witch hunt.

"Some of it's come out in the papers already. The investigative journalists have discovered all sorts of things that prove Dad's innocence. So there's hard evidence proving Dad's innocence."

  • Protecting future victims

Ms Janner said she feels "conflicted" about the Goddard inquiry into child sex abuse, but believes the money spent could be better used to prevent future abuse.

"I feel very conflicted about it (the inquiry) because in my professional life, like with my siblings, we've all been involved with people who've suffered abuse of one sort or another and there is so much current suffering going on.

"If the inquiry is going to cost £100m you just have to ask whether some of that can be used to protect people right now, rather than a huge look historically at vast expense. I think maybe the balance isn't right."

Liz Dux, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said:

Hearings into the allegations against Lord Janner are due to take place in March next year.

Claims against the late politician were originally expected to be aired during inquiry proceedings starting in September, before before adjourned at a preliminary hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last Tuesday.

Speaking at the hearing, Ben Emmerson QC said: