Lord Rennard remains suspended

According to the BBC, Chris Rennard’s challenge against his suspension from the party has been rejected.

The former chief executive of the Lib Dems had been suspended amid claims that he had brought the party into disrepute by failing to apologise over sexual harassment allegations.

Lord Rennard challenged his suspension from the Lib Dems, saying it was against party rules.

A Lib Dem source said: “His appeal against his suspension has been rejected. He remains suspended while the investigation continues.”


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  • Joshua Dixon 15th Jul '14 - 9:03pm

    Good to hear.

  • suspended means there should be an investigation as to whether his membership should be revoked or not. The English Party are taking a very long time to come to a conclusion. They need to make a decision soon and stop stringing this out.

  • Stephen Donnelly 16th Jul '14 - 8:34pm

    I’ll admit I have not studied this case in any detail and have no idea what the findings should be.

    As an employer I regularly deal with issues such as this, and we normally conclude matters within a few weeks. It is probably easier to deal with an employment issue, than membership, with all the rights to elected office that comes with that.

    I wonder if the party needs to introduce a distinction between membership, and being an office holder (or employee). Perhaps that would have helped in this case.

  • Tony Greaves 16th Jul '14 - 9:36pm

    It is this long process and the way it is being bungled that is bringing the party into disrepute.

    The latest thing is that this decision was leaked (apparently by the party press office) to the BBC last night, when Lord Rennard had been told he would hear of the decision some time today (I understand he was told shortly before noon). Lord Rennard heard of the decision on the BBC. This is at best a another sloppy procedural cock-up.

    I also understand that within the convoluted and rather opaque processes of the English Party, it has now been decided that the charge of bringing the party into disrepute due to a failure to apologise is dropped. (The original charges were of course discontinued following the the Webster Report).

    A further charge has however surfaced (I am not clear whether this is a new charge or one that has been around a while). This is that Lord Rennard has brought the party into disrepute by publicly criticising party processes.

    Well. This whole episode is getting ridiculous as well as bizarre. Whatever you may think about the original complaints against Lord Rennard, which were dismissed some months ago, the party processes have been shown to be a shambles. And the criticisms – many of them in public – have come from all sides, from the Leader downwards. In public, just about the most discreet and restrained person involved in all this has been Lord Rennard himself.

    These largely anonymous persons who are dealing with this matter in the English party have quite frankly shown themselves to be not competent in handling this matter fairly and expeditiously. 18 months on, it has turned into a farce, with people on all sides left angry and confused.

    [Meanwhile, I suppose if the censors here allow me to say these things, I should await a knock on the door early one morning soon!]


  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 17th Jul '14 - 11:55am

    Re Tony Greaves’ comments, I think it is important to be clear that the complaints were not dismissed. In fact, the evidence of the women was found to be broadly credible and an apology was suggested.

    I think it’s fair to say that the behaviour of some around Lord Rennard, especially Lord Carlile, has been less than helpful in finding a resolution to this.

  • Tony Greaves 17th Jul '14 - 1:25pm

    You are wrong, Caron. Neither you nor I have read the Webster report but my understanding is that the report does not state that the evidence of the women was “broadly credible”. I can’t say anything further about what it does say about their evidence, not least because I don’t know in any specific or accurate way. But it did not say what has been widely quoted.

    Second, the Webster report does not suggest an apology. This was in a covering document which was released, and the wording was that it should be “considered”. That apology was given soon after Lord Rennard was able to see the report itself (the failure to provide that for some time was another breach of the English party’s own rules).

    Yes, Caron, the effect of the Webster report was to dismiss the charges. We don’t have “not proven” in England. When the charges are dropped the accused is innocent. That is what the process means. But if you prefer “dropped” or “not taken any further” the effect is the same. The original complaints against Lord Rennard are no longer in play.

    And the matter of the apology is now in the past – the charge relating to it has been dropped. And we are now just left with the charge – in a Liberal party!!! – of criticising the party’s processes “publically”. You could not make it up.


  • ” In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. ” – George Orwell

    In The Liberal Democrats in 2014 it appears that a member can be suspended for “… criticising the party’s processes “publically”.

    When they make that early morning knock on Tony Greaves’ door — how many thousands of us will be charged as accomplices?

  • SIMON BANKS 23rd Jul '14 - 8:12pm

    I thought the report did say the women’s accounts were “broadly credible”. However, “broadly credible” does not mean proven. It is good to see the party taking the allegations seriously (as perhaps it didn’t soon enough), but it does seem the reasons for Lord Rennard’s continued suspension are unclear and need clarifying fast.

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