File photo dated 10/9/1996 of Lord Greville Janner as a leading child abuse lawyer has written to Britain's most senior prosecutor in an attempt to overturn the decision not to bring the Labour peer to trial.

Lord Greville Janner

Lord Janner is alleged to have “raped” children and perpetrated a “full range” of sexual offences against them for over 30 years, a senior lawyer has told a public inquiry.

The damning allegations – denied by his family – were outlined on Wednesday at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Dame Lowell Goddard and which will also seek to determine whether there was a cover-up.

Ex-MP Janner, who died in December, would have been hauled before a court had he not been found unfit to stand trial due to his dementia. More than 30 victims have come forward with allegations and 17 will be allowed to give statements to the inquiry.

“The allegations in summary are that Greville Janner exploited children and perpetrated a full range of sexual offences against them, including what would now be termed as rape,” said Ben Emmerson QC at the preliminary hearing.

Janner faced allegations of abuse for three decades stretching back to the 1950s, the inquiry heard, and Goddard will now look at why so many children who complained of abuse were not protected from him.

While findings of criminal liability cannot be made, Emmerson said: “Where the evidence justifies it… the panel will make findings of fact on allegations of child sexual abuse.”