A display of cowardice at Leon Brittan’s funeral

Leon Brittan’s memorial service on Tuesday packed the West London Synagogue, but there were some notable absentees. We in the congregation were informed that the government was represented by Lord Howe (the Earl Howe, not Geoffrey). He is an estimable man, but well below Cabinet level. Since Brittan had been Home Secretary, it would normally be customary for the present holder of the office, Theresa May, to attend. Was she absent because of the accusations against Brittan, among others, about ‘establishment’ cover-ups of child abuse in the 1980s? If so, it was cowardly. Absolutely nothing has been proved. Unless it is, ministers should stand up for those who have served government in the past instead of running before the wind.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s notes, available in The Spectator tomorrow.