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Exclusive: Lord Rennard’s behaviour concerned Lib Dem staff in 2011

27 February 2013

8:38 AM

27 February 2013

8:38 AM

The Lib Dems say Danny Alexander spoke to Lord Rennard when ‘indirect and non-specific concerns’ about inappropriate behaviour reached Nick Clegg’s office in 2008. But the alleged behaviour continued after that, too, I have learned. A well-placed source tells me that long after that 2008 conversation with Alexander in which the then chief executive was told that such behaviour was unacceptable, there was another incident.

In late 2011, the peer (who was no longer chief executive by this point) attended a party with Lib Dem staff. At the end of the party, he took a number of women back to his home in taxis, where the drinking continued and Lord Rennard was behaving in a tactile fashion towards at least one of the women who was in an advanced state of inebriation to the extent that another guest left, feeling uncomfortable. This incident was not followed up by Lib Dem HQ, and it was discounted in conversations about the evening as unsurprising behaviour. A spokesman for Lord Rennard last night declined to comment on these new allegations. The peer issued a statement yesterday afternoon denying impropriety.

The attitude at Lib Dem HQ, I understand, was that these sorts of incidents were what you’d just have to expect from Lord Rennard, that he was so essential to the party and so very powerful (more influential than the leader himself even long after his resignation, right up until these allegations surfaced last week) that any attempt to really fight him would damage the party itself. Sources said he continued to attend meetings regularly on election strategy with party staff after resigning as Lib Dem chief executive, which his spokesman says was not true.

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  • nagena

    I speak, if I may, as an African; make of that what you will. Many of us attend parties at which both sexes and some in-between get together, drink, flirt and Nature (as she does) takes over! No brute force is necessarily used; those who think it is time to leave do so without any spot on their character. I’ve just seen a snap of Lord Rennard, who looks an enjoyer of food, drink and whatever might follow. If I was a lady I might well look out for his weight if he fell and I was clinging to him. Stop all this giggly-girlie stuff. Such is life, but perhaps I speak only for the Tropics! nagena

  • disqus_nin4Sp0w8s

    Well, you would have to be VERY drunk to sleep with this monster! I’m not surprised he was reduced to pathetic ‘touching- up’ of women who’s Political futures he held in his hands! what a pathetic nasty person – can he be stripped of his Lordship? [yeah Peerage – whatever.]

  • Newsfox

    What outdated and secretive institution brimming with sexually repessed weirdos needs a new leader? The LibDems of course!

  • Aaron D Highside

    One can see how girls are attracted to people like Rennard and Prezza. Who’s next? Pickles?

    • Archimedes

      Mass attracts mass – so presumably.

    • HookesLaw

      Your mention of prezza who kept his Job puts this in perspective

  • anyfool

    where the drinking continued and Lord Rennard was behaving in a tactile fashion towards at least one of the women who was in an advanced state of inebriation to the extent that another guest left, feeling uncomfortable.

    If this silly story continues in this vein the only people who will end up the losers are Lib Dem women.

    They have so far been shown to be a bunch simpering girls, how very brave to leave a fellow guest at the mercy of a man who apparently touches woman’s legs, even the wimmen! who supposedly had theirs legs touched had such an attack of the vapours they took years to get over it and force the issue into the open, how pathetic can you get.

    The only good thing that comes out of this is that it shows the Lib Dems in their true light.

    They are a bunch of shifty perverted liars who are so incompetent they can see a train wreck ahead and then they throw the brake lever out of the cab.

    • HookesLaw

      What you must remember is that the LD’s favour more press regulation. All then falls into place.
      Rennard parties with drunken Women.
      Does he smoke cigars?
      He could almost be a US president not a LD one

  • Archimedes

    Ha! I don’t think I’ve heard “LibDem”, “essential” and “so very powerful” in the same sentence before…small pond, I suppose…

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