Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chris Rennard will face no further disciplinary action

Sky News reports this evening:
Lord Rennard will face no further disciplinary action over claims of harassment by four women, the Liberal Democrats have said. 
The party said its Regional Parties Committee had decided not to proceed with the disciplinary process against the peer and lifted his suspension after meeting this week. 
The committee met to consider whether the party had been brought into disrepute by statements made by Lord Rennard, or on his behalf, following publication of a report by Alistair Webster QC into the allegations against him.
That report is a little confused because, as the third paragraph makes clear, the remaining charges against Chris Rennard did not concern allegations of harassment but his criticism of party procedures.

Radical Bulletin in the latest issue of Liberator sums up the situation well:
Is there no limit to the Lib Dems ability to cock-up everything related to the accusations made against Lord Rennard ... ? 
The mishandling has pulled off the remarkable achievement of seeing both Rennard's accusers and supporters lose confidence in the processes used.
That though is now dangerous, since the Regional Parties Committee ... has said Rennard should remain suspended from membership for criticising party procedures. 
Since even Nick Clegg has done that on several occasions, rigid enforcement of this would leave the party with few members.
Whatever one thinks of Rennard, the idea that anyone can be suspended from Lib Dem membership for criticising party procedures is as absurd as it is repellent.
Later. ITV News has the text of Chris Rennard's statement.
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