The Head of the Crown Prosecution Service has told critics of her decision not to charge Labour peer Lord Janner of Braunstone with sex offences she is “not afraid” of her ruling being challenged.
Alison Saunders, who became Director of Public Prosecutions in 2013, ruled that Janner would not be charged with 22 offences between 1969 and 1988 involving nine children and young people.
Mrs Saunders ruled that this is because he is suffering from dementia, which had been assessed by multiple doctors.
Politicians and legal experts have criticised Mrs Saunders’ decision, with some calling on her to consider her position.
Mrs Saunders fired back that it was not a resigning issue and dismissed claims of an Establishment cover up.
She told the Evening Standard: ““If it was an Establishment cover-up I’ve had to pay a very heavy price for it.
“I am independent. I guard my independence as DPP very jealously. It’s certainly not a cover-up.”
Lord Janner wrote to Lords clerks earlier this month stating that he did not wish to step down as a serving peer.
Reports emerged that he transferred ownership of his £2 million north London home to his children in March last year, three months after the property was searched by police.
Christine Sands, head of abuse claims department at Jordans Solicitors said: “Whilst we understand the difficulties faced in pursuing a prosecution fairly in such circumstances when the defendant is in ill health, such considerations must be weighed against the rights of his alleged victims to seek justice.
“Unfortunately opportunities to pursue previously appear to have been missed when such a prosecution would have clearly assisted such victims in establishing the abuse they suffered.”