Lord Janner: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse postpones investigation into late Labour peer

The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse has postponed its investigation into the late Labour peer Lord Janner, ITV News has learned.

The national inquiry had been due to start hearing evidence of allegations against the former Leicester MP in March next year as one of 13 separate probes into alleged historical abuse.

But new inquiry chair Professor Alexis Jay is now believed to have decided to postpone the probe indefinitely.

Inquiry sources told ITV News the panel still hoped to start the Janner investigation next year but that a preliminary hearing in January and formal hearings scheduled for March had been scrapped.

Janner, who died last year, faced a string of allegations that he abused young boys in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The peer suffered from dementia in the last years of his life and was ruled unfit to be prosecuted but had instead faced a trial of the facts before his death in December 2015.

The allegations were later handed to the Inquiry to investigate.

Professor Alexis Jay is the national inquiry's fourth chair. Credit: PA

The panel was due to start hearing from alleged victims in March and consider whether figures in government or the Labour party had known about the allegations against the peer.

Lord Janner's children have repeatedly insisted their father was innocent.

Janner's son Daniel Janner QC told ITV News he hoped the independent inquiry would now drop completely its investigation into his father.

He said: "They are postponing a deeply flawed and disgracefully unfair strand. It should be dropped.

"The correct place for justice is a court of law and not the Inquiry where proper cross-examination of false allegations is not allowed.

"My father has been silenced through death and so any pretence at fairness or justice is a farce."

The decision to delay the investigation into Janner comes after it emerged another senior lawyer had quit the independent child abuse inquiry.

Lord Janner's family have always insisted he was innocent of any wrongdoing. Credit: PA

Aileen McColgan reportedly left her role at the inquiry amid concerns over its leadership.

She became the latest senior barrister to quit the inquiry, following the resignation of its lead counsel Ben Emmerson QC in September.

Professor Alexis Jay is the national inquiry's fourth chair. The formal social worker took up the post following the resignation of its previous chair, New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard, in August.

A spokesman for the inquiry said: "The Inquiry's hearing into the institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse against the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC has been delayed.

"This is in order to allow the ongoing police and IPCC investigations to continue so that we can avoid potential issues around witness overlap.

"We are still absolutely committed to holding oral hearings on this investigation."