Lord Rennard has said he received “no complaint or allegation” about his behaviour during his time as Lib Dem chief executive, despite the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, insisting he put allegations of sexual harassment to him in “strong terms”.
The Lib Dem by-election guru has issued a further denial in which he says he “refutes these allegations” made against him.
A key part of the statement, delivered by a spokesperson, is the claim Lord Rennard was never received a complaint.
“He would reiterate that in 27 years of working for the Liberal Democrats he received no complaint or allegation about his behaviour.”
However this appears to flatly contradict a statement made by Alexander who said he warned Lord Rennard his behaviour had been “unacceptable”.
“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.”
Can Lord Rennard and Danny Alexander both be right? On surface it seems like Lord Rennard’s denial is another confusing statement in a long line of confusing statements.
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