REMINDER: Call for evidence regarding independent inquiry into processes, culture and complaints relating to harassment

With a week to go before the deadline for written submissions, I’d like to make a further call for any evidence that may be relevant to my independent inquiry. As previously indicated, the review covers three overlapping areas:

  • Processes (and what did and did not happen)
  • Attitudes and culture within the Party
  • A blueprint for the future.

I am keen to hear from all those who have relevant experiences and views to help me form an accurate picture (whether Party members, staff or public). Thank you to those who have already submitted evidence.

I’d welcome any additional evidence around the areas outlined above and ask for three questions to be considered in any responses:

  1. Do you have examples of specific incidences where processes around complaints were not followed or where there appeared to be gaps in policies or procedures for dealing with such complaints?
  2. Can you provide examples which illustrate weaknesses in the Party’s attitudes and culture – past and present? I am also interested in receiving examples of strengths in these areas; my review will be balanced and without prejudice.
  3. Do you have ideas about what needs to change for the Party to look to the future with confidence that any form of harassment within the Party will be properly dealt with?

All submissions will be treated in confidence. I wish to emphasise this point, as I appreciate there may be concerns regarding who may have access to the submissions. I am being supported in the work by Jane Smithard, who is acting as a guide for me with respect to the Party and its structures but is not accessing any material. I am the only person with that access.

I will follow up with a number of those who submit written evidence where I need to explore specific aspects of your testimony, either in-person or via other means. I will also be gathering all the formal policies and how these have evolved and will be interviewing a range of individuals, both within the Party and those who may have since moved on but whose voices should be heard.

For the avoidance of doubt, I will not be making judgements on specific cases or making any assumptions regarding the innocence or guilt of individuals.

The bulk of witness interviews will be conducted in April and I aim to write the report in May with a view to a June publication date.

Please submit all written evidence by Friday 5th April to [email protected]. Thank you.

* Helena Morrissey is Chair of the independent inquiry into culture, process and complaints within the Liberal Democrats.

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