The party has launched an internal investigation, headed by Party President Tim Farron, in response to allegations aired on tonight’s Channel 4 News.
The party released this statement in response to the report:
In view of the serious allegations put to us by Channel 4 and the concerns raised about how such issues have been handled in the past, Nick Clegg has asked Tim Farron, the Party President, to establish an immediate review into all our procedures for dealing with these issues, including a thorough examination of how allegations made in the past have been handled. This review group had its first meeting on Thursday 21st February.
An internal investigation into the specific allegations raised by Channel 4 has begun under the Party’s disciplinary procedures.
There are a number of questions that have been raised and our review will ensure we properly address all of them.
We will not tolerate harassment in our party and we urge anyone to contact the Chief Executive or use our confidential whistle-blower procedure if they have issues they wish to raise as a result of Channel 4’s report.
In view of ongoing investigations and for legal reasons comments on this post will be disabled.
Update: Lord Rennard has released the following statement through his solicitors:
Lord Rennard is deeply shocked by and strongly disputes the allegations made against him in the Channel Four News broadcast on 21st February. He regards the report as a total distortion of his character.
Not a single complaint of misconduct was made against him to his knowledge during the twenty seven years he worked for the Liberal Democrat party. Despite the claim made by one woman in the report, Lord Rennard continued working closely with her for ten years after the alleged event described.
Until this matter is resolved he will withdraw from the Federal Policy Committee on which he serves and temporarily stand aside from the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords to seek to avoid any embarrassment to the Party.
He will remain a member of the Liberal Democrats and will continue to devote himself to good causes through his work in the House of Lords and elsewhere.
Lord Rennard will make no further comment until these matters are resolved.