Thread: Greville Janner
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Old 20-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #52
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Knowing Janner's comments about Geoffrey Dickens, this is the strangest article of the night.
The Canberra Times - Friday 18 July 1986
Ex-PM dumped into the river
Mr Callaghan heads back to Westminster aboard a St John Ambulance Brigade rescueboat.

LONDON, Thursday (PA). - Mr James Callaghan, the 74 year-old former British Prime Minister, was one of six Labour MPs pitched into the River Thames yesterday when their launch capsized during a House of Commons regatta.

After splashing around for about a minute, Mr Callaghan was unceremoniously hauled into a rescue boat by the seat of his trousers.

His colleagues were also picked up by St John Ambulance Brigade speedboats, none of them any the worse for the ordeal.

Sir Callaghan, still dripping, laughed off his ducking.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, greeted me on the way into the boat," he said. "I only wish his prayers had been more efficacious and his blessing granted."

Mr Callaghan, who served in the Royal Navy in the World War II, was greeted by the Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, when he and the other MPs emerged on to the terrace of the House of Commons.

"I bet that's the only time the Prime Minister has ever applauded a crew of Labour MPs," he said.

The crew had just completed their race in the regatta, coming second, and were on the way to the terrace when the mishap occurred.

More than 100 eights took part in the event, including crows of ministers, MPs, clerks, police and Press.

In the lawyers' boat, Labour MP Mr Greville Janner wore the full-bottomed wig of the late Mr Justice McNaughton, renowned for the McNaughton Rules on lunacy.

Mrs Lynda Chalker, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, took the precaution of wearing water wings, and 133.3kg Tory MP Mr Geoffrey Dickens won admission to the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest cox known to mankind.

The regatta was abandoned after two other boats had sunk and with the water becoming increasingly turbulent.
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