BBC News – Lord Rennard Lib Dem row ‘blown up’

Lord RennardLord Rennard says he needs to convey closure to the matter

One of the founding members of the Liberal Democrats has performed down the seriousness of the difficulty of Lord Rennard’s alleged sexual harassment.

Party peer Baroness Shirley Williams stated the row had been “blown up”.

Lord Rennard, who has been suspended from the social gathering, apologised final week for “inadvertently” intruding into the “private area” of 4 ladies.

Lady Williams additionally defended Lib Dem chief Nick Clegg after the social gathering’s poor displaying within the current elections.

She stated Mr Clegg was an “completely respectable” man, and the proper individual to renegotiate a brand new coalition deal.

‘Private life’

Lord Rennard resigned the social gathering whip final yr amid claims that he had made undesirable sexual advances to a number of ladies and touched them inappropriately.

Lord Rennard, who masterminded a collection of by-election victories for the get together over 20 years, was requested to apologise after an inner get together probe by senior barrister Alistair Webster QC in March.

It concluded the claims towards him have been credible however couldn’t be proved past affordable doubt.

Lord Rennard stays suspended from the Lib Dems and sits as an unbiased within the House of Lords. But one in every of his accusers has stated he ought to be requested to go away the social gathering.

His authorized adviser has requested that the Webster report be revealed and referred to as for him to be allowed again into the Lib Dems.

Lady Williams informed BBC Radio A’s Today programme the difficulty had been “massively blown up”.

“He was a really respectable and constant member of the social gathering because the chief government, he did large quantities for the social gathering,” she stated.

“And I assume his personal life… he has already apologised for, and that is high quality.

“If I might say so, there are some comparisons which recommend there are actual, critical sexual harassments and so forth, and I do not assume he is some of the critical instances.”

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Who is Lord Rennard?

Lord Rennard

Chris Rennard, fifty three, has labored for the Lib Dems since his scholar days in Liverpool

He first gained consideration as an area activist after which social gathering agent for former MP David Alton, serving to him win successive election victories within the metropolis in 1979 and 1983

He then turned campaigns and election director for the entire get together, overseeing a number of by-election victories between 1989 and 2003 because the Lib Dems grew in measurement

He was chief government between 2003 and 2009, serving three leaders Charles Kennedy, Sir Menzies Campbell and Nick Clegg

He stepped down in 2009 citing ailing well being and the difficulties of managing a diabetic situation

He became a peer in 1999

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‘Snakes and ladders’

Meanwhile, Lady Williams additionally blamed a scarcity of media protection for the Lib Dems’s poor efficiency within the native and European elections. She stated the get together was not getting extra credit score for its achievements within the coalition, saying “frankly we get little or no protection”.

She stated she had “been up and down the snakes and ladders of politics” her entire life that the get together would “definitely get again”.

“I assume we’re within the temper to take action and we have definitely received an excellent story to inform,” she stated.

Lady Williams added that Mr Clegg was “one of the upright, respectable and exhausting-working politicians there are”.

He added that he was the suitable man to barter if there’s one other coalition after the subsequent common 10:08 am – Source: bbc.co.uk
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