Someone is getting up to all sorts of mischief down in Portsmouth, circulating this attack leaflet piling into the LibDems over their many sex scandals:
Jeremy Thorpe, Cyril Smith, Rennard and Hancock - you can’t help but think whoever is sticking this through people’s letterboxes has a point…
Randy Rennard has just released this statement giving the LibDems – mainly Tim Farron – the following ultimatum if they don’t fancy a bloody court battle:
“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.”
Clegg says no apology, no whip. Liable party president Farron is keeping quiet this morning. Popcorn…
Don’t panic Tim, when Rennard sent us a “Letter Before Action” we told the pervy sex pest to sue. Never heard from him again.
“Nick Clegg made clear last week, and again this morning, that it would be inappropriate for Lord Rennard to resume the Liberal Democrat whip unless he apologises. Lord Rennard has refused to do so.
The Regional Parties Committee, which oversees disciplinary procedures under the English Party membership rules, today decided to suspend Lord Rennard’s membership of the party pending a disciplinary procedure. As such, he cannot return to the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords.
Lord Rennard will now be investigated for bringing the party into disrepute on the grounds of his failure to apologise as recommended by Alistair Webster QC.”
Nick Clegg’s former aide Bridget Harris quits the party over its handling of the Rennard scandal:
“You go into politics and you accept the notion of a collective agreement for the greater good. After the 15 years I worked in the Lib Dems I realised there is no greater good, just everyone doing a s**t job.”
Nick Clegg took a pasting over Rennard on LBC this morning. Judging by the ensuing silence when asked why he doesn’t just boot the pervy peer out, Clegg clearly wants to get rid but is impotent to do so. Instead all he would commit to is banning Rennard from working on the LibDems’ election campaign:
This is a promise the LibDems have made before and – shockingly – broken. Back in 2010 when Rennard resigned over expenses, though citing ill health, their official line was exactly the same: “he is not part of our campaign team”. Only for him to soon be back spinning for Clegg at the leadership debates and be seen popping in and out of the party’s Cowley Street HQ. Which is strange, because it is unlike LibDems to go back on their word.
Nick Clegg used to take allegations of sexual impropriety very seriously indeed. Here he is in November 2012, making it very clear where he stands on ITV’s The Agenda:
“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 – if that turns out to be the case – heads will need to roll of course.”
Here is is that same month, asking all the right questions on 5Live:
“I have been thinking about this a lot, because I cannot understand how this could have remained hidden for so long. There just must have been so many people who knew what was going on …and I just keep asking myself why, why did this remain buried for so long?”
Now of course this was Clegg commenting on sex allegations against Jimmy Savile, rather than the entirely unconnected matter of Lord Rennard that blew up three months later. But interesting, nonetheless…
Utterly ashamed of my party.—
Charlotte Henry (@charlotteahenry) January 15, 2014
Right. Back into twitter exile for me, I think, because otherwise I might say something actionable.—
Jennie Rigg (@miss_s_b) January 15, 2014
Rennard's statement, however, is a massive pile of wank – even if people (unhappily) accept QC's verdict, he's just shitting all over them.—
Stace (@stackee) January 15, 2014
Rennard says in his statement: “I now look forward to resuming my roles within the Liberal Democrats.” Without so much as an apology…
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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:
“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.