Tag Archives: lord rennard

Alison Goldsworthy quits party saying it’s no place for “women who want to deliver change”

In an interview with The Times newspaper (£), Alison Goldsworthy said that she had resigned from the Federal Executive of the Liberal Democrats, of which she was Vice Chair. She has since confirmed to us that she had resigned from the Party. This means that none of the four women who made allegations of improper behaviour against Chris Rennard  remains a member of the party. Chris Rennard denies the specific allegations but issued an apology to the women in May in which he expressed his “his regret for any harm or embarrassment caused to them or anythingwhich made them feel uncomfortable.”

Alison described the events which led to her complaint:

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Opinion: Post Rennard, what should the party do?

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKThe news that Lord Rennard has been welcomed back into the fold has engendered both despair and joy across the party. Those who ‘never understood what the fuss was all about’, those who are no longer sure they want to be part of a party that doesn’t appear to live its values.  Lester Holloway, among others, offers an excellent analysis of the wider implications.

I have made no secret of my disappointment about the way this case has …

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Lord Rennard: Lib Dems continue investigation into peer while party official apologises for lapse

Chris RennardThe Guardian reports today on the latest developments in the Lord Rennard case, specifically:

  • A senior Lib Dem official has personally apologised to Lord Rennard “over the fact the party told the media an appeal against his suspension had been rejected before the peer himself was informed of the ruling.” (See LDV’s brief report, ‘Lord Rennard remains suspended’ (15th July).)
  • The party has abandoned its investigation into Lord Rennard for not apologising to the four women, who maintain he touched them inappropriately, as recommended by Alistair Webster QC’s inquiry,
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    Statement by Lord Rennard

    A spokesman for Lord Rennard has just released the following statement to the media:

    There will be no court action if the party simply follows its own rules, or if there is a realistic prospect of mediation succeeding. In the meantime, Lord Rennard is still waiting to see the report of Alistair Webster’s investigation, as was promised to him. He was, however, informed by Alistair Webster personally that the report’s only decision was that there should be no further action, as there was insufficient evidence to hold a disciplinary hearing.  Any lawful party action and any mediation will have to reflect this.

    Posted in News | 30 Comments

    Today’s Call Clegg highlights: Mental health, Benefits Street, getting more women into politics and Rennard

    Call Clegg took place today because Nick is heading off to Davos. He could have easily invented some reason to get out of it but you have to respect his courage in going ahead given the furore over the past week. We’re going to start with the most important thing he talked about and work back from that

    Improving mental health care for young people

    He was asked about whether it was surprising that young people’s mental health was suffering when they faced low wages and not being able to find affordable housing and about mental health provision itself.

    He replied:

     I announced on Monday that we’re seeking to remedy,it’s actually almost a form of institutionalised cruelty, the way that if you turn 18, if you’re a child with mental health problems…you might be given good care, good help, develop important relationships with people who are giving them support and treatment in the children’s mental health system.  And then, the moment they have their 18th birthday all of that falls away, and they’re suddenly having to deal with other people in different institutions, travel to different hospitals or clinics.

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    New Statement from Liberal Democrat Women

    LDW believe the entire process from the word go has been mishandled. As a result we have been left with an unsatisfactory position which has not been fair to anyone involved.

    We, have been talking to Senior Members of the Party about how LDW can contribute to resolving this distressing situation. Our involvement has been welcomed and we have been working behind the scenes to help in anyway we can. We are speaking to the Leader’s Office to arrange a meeting with Nick Clegg as soon as possible.

    LDW is aware that the women who made the allegations against Lord Rennard have …

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    Danny Alexander MP writes exclusively for Lib Dem Voice: Statement on Lord Rennard allegations

    Nick Clegg has today announced that Helena Morrissey will chair the independent inquiry into culture, process and complaints within the Liberal Democrats. Jo Swinson is speaking at the party conference rally tonight and will tell party members about her role in dealing with allegations about Lord Rennard. I want to do the same.

    I had been Nick’s chief of staff since his election in December 2007. In 2008, Jo told me of concerns that had been expressed to her privately and in confidence by a number of women about the conduct of Lord Rennard.

    While she did not give me any names …

    Posted in News | 4 Comments

    Call Clegg: “There were serious mistakes and the women were let down”

    We might not have blamed Nick Clegg if he’d stayed under the duvet with a detective novel rather than turn up for his weekly Call Clegg session on LBC. Our leader is not one to duck out of things, though, and deserves respect for not hiding away and allowing himself to be quizzed on live radio. Clearly he was going to be asked  about the allegations surrounding Lord Rennard (which the peer strenuously denies) and what he had done about them.

    For the first time he acknowledged that although the main reason for the former Chief Executive’s resignation was health, this …

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    Inquiries into Rennard allegations must be as public as possible

    The party’s investigations into allegations against its members are traditionally internal, confidential affairs. There are good reasons for this, particularly as confidentiality can be necessary for people to be willing to given evidence and as the simple existence of an allegation can kill someone’s political career, even if the allegations are subsequently found to be groundless.

    They are often so confidential, in fact, that the last time I was asked to provide evidence for an inquiry, I did not know what the precise allegations were, who was investigating them, who the range of people being investigated were, whether or not the …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments
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