So we didn't hold an inquiry: we asked a QC to guess what would happen if we did.
If it were not so damaging to the party's reputation, our adoption of this byzantine approach would be comic.
This is a difficult issue for me to write about, because I have known Chris Rennard for almost 30 years. When I first heard of the allegations against him my reaction was to hope they were not true. I make no comment on them now beyond what is contained in Alistair Webster's statement.
But I am struck by the difference between his treatment and that of someone I first met even before I met Chris.
When Jenny Tonge suggested that Israel would not last for ever in its present form, she was given an ultimatum by Nick Clegg: apologise or resign.
When she failed to apologise, Nick told the Guardian:
"I asked Baroness Tonge to withdraw her remarks and apologise for the offence she has caused. She has refused to do so and will now be leaving the party."If Nick has the power to force someone out of the party like this, why is he not exercising it now?
The kindest explanation I can think of is that Nick is scared of Alex Carlile.