Sunday, February 24, 2013

Clegg ‘Personally Told About Rennard Rumours in 2008′

Clegg only talks about his office hearing the Rennard rumours in his statement: “I am angry and outraged at the suggestion that I would not have acted if these allegations were put to me”. ITV’s Lucy Manning and the Telegraph report that a LibDem raised concerns with Clegg personally in 2008:

“I was at an event with Nick Clegg and said Nick, you need to know that we have print journalists which I believe were, I think the Telegraph were chasing it, the Mail was chasing it and the News of the World was chasing it.

I said I believe there are three papers that are actively pursuing the Rennard story and he knew exactly what I meant, there was no ‘what are you talking about?’

As the party leader he knew exactly what I meant when I said it to him. He said, ‘Thank you very much, I will go and deal with it.’ And again nothing happened.”

Clegg’s clarification of his clarification needs…clarifying.

Nick Clegg Fingers Danny Alexander
Danny Alexander Statement in Full

“As I said yesterday, I did not know about these specific allegations until the Channel 4 broadcast.

When indirect and anonymous concerns about Chris Rennard’s conduct came to the attention of Nick Clegg’s office, in late 2008, we acted immediately. As Nick’s Chief of Staff, I put these concerns to Chris Rennard in strong terms and warned him that any such behaviour was wholly unacceptable. Chris Rennard categorically denied that he had behaved inappropriately as he continues to do. Chris Rennard subsequently resigned as Chief Executive on health grounds.

As these concerns were received indirectly and anonymously, as those involved understandably wanted to maintain privacy, there was a limit to how we could take this matter forward following Chris Rennard’s resignation. The party has rightly set up inquiries into these matters and I will participate fully in those processes.”

Clegg is refusing interviews…

Nick Clegg Statement In Full

“The allegations made on Channel 4 concerning Lord Rennard last Thursday were extremely serious and distressing to the women involved. It is critical they are investigated thoroughly and dealt with properly and they will be.

But I would like to make one thing crystal clear. I did not know about these allegations until Channel 4 informed the party of them shortly before they were broadcast. I have today spoken to one of the women in the broadcast who I respect and admire and who confirmed that she had never raised the issue with me.

I am angry and outraged at the suggestion that I would not have acted if these allegations had been put to me. Indeed, when indirect and non-specific concerns about Chris Rennard’s conduct reached my office in 2008, we acted to deal with them.

My Chief of Staff at the time, Danny Alexander, put these concerns to Chris Rennard and warned him that any such behaviour was wholly unacceptable. Chris Rennard categorically denied that he had behaved inappropriately and he continues to do so. He subsequently resigned as Chief Executive on health grounds.

As my office only received concerns indirectly and anonymously, as those involved understandably wanted to maintain their privacy, there was a limit to how we could take this matter forward following Chris Rennard’s resignation. It is incorrect to state that there was any other separate inquiry by my office or anybody in it.

I recognise from the Channel 4 broadcast that there are legitimate concerns that issues raised with the party were not handled as well as they should have been. In particular the suggestion that a complaint was made but was not dealt with as a formal complaint. I am therefore determined that we carry out a thorough investigation into our procedures and how we applied them at the time to ensure we have a full and clear picture of what happened and the lessons that we need to learn. This review will be independently chaired.

A separate investigation into the specific allegations about Lord Rennard will take place under our disciplinary procedure. It is essential that this is carried out with due process and for that reason I cannot provide a running commentary on it. But I am absolutely determined that both these investigations will be carried out thoroughly and comprehensively. These investigations may well reveal flawed procedures, and clearly the women concerned feel they were not properly listened to. But I totally reject the insidious suggestion that my office or I are responsible in any way for a deliberate cover up.

The full truth of what happened and what failed to happen and who said what to whom will be revealed by these investigations.

But in the meantime, I will not stand by and allow my party to be subject to a show trial of innuendo, half-truths and slurs. The important thing is that we respect the women who have come forward and do everything to get to the truth. That is what will now happen.”

If anything this widens the cover-up…

Via CoffeeHouse.

Would I Lie to You?

clegg

This from today’s Sunday Times magazine. Talk about amateur media management…

H/T @wallaceme

Nick Clegg: “Heads Will Need to Roll”

Nick Clegg is about to change his tune on what he knew about Lord Rennard and any cover up. Those drafting his statement might like to look at what he told ITV at the peak of the BBC Savile cover up:

“Clearly what happened on a large scale was people felt so intimidated by fame and power that they didn’t speak up for a long period of time.

Serious questions need to be asked and if after we find out what’s happened it’s clear that people have turned a blind eye or, worse still connived with it then of course they’re going to have to be held to account and heads – if that turns out to be the case – will need to roll.”

Perfect.

Read Guido’s Column in The Sun Today

The Sun is #1 for politics on Sundays. In Guido’s column today you can find out:

  • Which LibDem has been defending Lord Rennard?
  • Why should Jo Swinson know all about workplace cover-ups?
  • Why ‘bute’ is the least of our equine worries.
  • What MPs really think about the Civil Service.
  • How Chris Huhne’s moment of truth has been memorialised forever.

The column isn’t online, so get down the newsagents and read it today for only 50p…


Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

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We also need Zil lanes.


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