‘What did he know and when did he know it’ is one of the staples of modern journalism and it is the question Nick Clegg is struggling to answer over the Lord Rennard allegations. Before continuing, it should be stressed that Rennard denies the allegations made against him. But the situation is fast turning into a political crisis for the Liberal Democrats, it is splashed across a whole host of newspaper front pages this morning. (Michael Fabricant, who is coordinating the parliamentary part of the Tory by-election effort, has already tweeted a picture of Tory activists brandishing these front pages in Eastleigh.)

At the moment, the Liberal Democrats are relying on two internal inquiries to deal with the matter. I suspect this will not be enough. Clegg would be well advised to appoint an independent QC, someone with no ties to the party or its leadership, to lead an investigation into the matter.

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Tags: Coalition, Eastleigh, Liberal Democrats, Lord Rennard, Nick Clegg, UK politics