Lord Rennard not to face charges, Metropolitan Police announce

The Metropolitan Police have tonight issued the following statement following their investigation into allegations against Lord (Chris) Rennard broadcast on Channel 4 News:

Following reports in the media in February, officers from the Specialist Crime and Operations Command launched an investigation into allegations of sexual touching.

Various inquiries were conducted – including meeting with officials from the Liberal Democrat Party – and a number of individuals were spoken to as part of the investigation.

Those inquiries have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a prosecution; a decision which has been made by police.

There was early investigative consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), but in accordance with the DPP’s guidance on charging, the police did not refer the case for full CPS advice to decide the outcome.

As part of the investigation a 52-year-old man voluntarily attended a south London police station by appointment on 16 June and was interviewed under caution.

It was agreed from the outset that any internal misconduct matters would be referred back to the Liberal Democrat Party for their consideration.

The party also released this brief statement:

The decision by the police not to prosecute Lord Rennard with a criminal offence means that the party’s disciplinary process, led by Alistair Webster QC, can now resume. We consider the allegations made against Lord Rennard, which he strenuously denies, to be extremely serious and we can now continue with our internal inquiry into these allegations. We would encourage anyone who has information that could be relevant to the inquiry to get in touch through our whistle-blower hotline, run by Public Concern at Work, on 020 7404 6609.

UPDATE: Lord Rennard has released the following comments:

I am not surprised by the police decision that after a full investigation into the complaints made against me I will face no charges.

The last eight months have been harrowing and deeply unpleasant for me, my wife Ann, my family and friends.

I am enormously thankful for the unfailing support I have received from people across the political spectrum but especially those within the Liberal Democrats who have stood by me throughout.

My life’s work has been to support good people and good causes. I hope now to be able to continue doing that.

Given the ongoing internal inquiry referred to above, no comments will be allowed on this post.

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