Clegg admits he knew of Rennard concerns five years ago – Media and blog round up: February 25th 2013

February 25, 2013 9:30 am

Subscribers to our morning email get the best of LabourList – including the Media and blog round up – every weekday morning. If you’d signed up you would have got this an hour ago. You can sign up here.

Rennard Allegations – Clegg admits he was told of concerns five years ago

“The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, was embroiled in the most difficult crisis of his leadership on Sunday after he admitted he had been aware of concerns about sexual harassment by a senior party figure more than four years ago. Lib Dem officials spent three days insisting Clegg had not known about the complaints over the behaviour of the former party chief executive and strategist Lord (Chris) Rennard, which were made on Channel 4 news on Thursday. On Sunday Clegg returned from a family holiday in Spain to make his first public statement on the controversy, in which he said that he had not known about the Channel 4 “allegations” but was made aware of “indirect and non-specific concerns” in 2008.” – Guardian

“Mr Clegg even dragged Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander into the row by revealing he asked him to investigate the allegations FIVE years ago. The peer had denied them and the matter was dropped. Lord Rennard, who led the party’s election campaigns, is accused of inappropriately touching a number of women, including one of Mr Clegg’s former special advisers. The peer vehemently denies the claims.” – The Sun

“Mr Alexander is also likely to be asked why he appeared to take Lord Rennard’s denials at face value without conducting a full investigation into the women’s claims.” – Telegraph

“Nick Clegg was accused of a ‘classic cover-up’ last night after admitting he has known for five years that Lord Rennard faced claims of molesting women.” – Daily Mail

Harman attacks “ageist and sexist” TV companies

“Harriet Harman has written to leading broadcasters asking about the number of older women employed within their organisations, the Labour Party said on Sunday. The move is part of the Commission on Older Women’s work on females in the media and public life, which Harman chairs. The shadow deputy prime minister who doubles as shadow culture secretary said there needed to be “more change” especially in relation to “this combination of ageism and sexism” faced by older women.” – Guardian

Other highlights

  • AlanGiles

    I wonder if Labour ever wanted to have a public enquiry to see whether Blair knew about Ron Davies’s cottaging in 1998?. Or Blunkett’s drawer-dropping antics in the early 2000s?, or Stephen Byers inviting a lady, who wasn’t his wife, up to this hotel room to see his etchings after a conference?. or what Gordon Brown knew about the case of the invisible cleaner of Mr Purnell?
    The reason I pose these questions is because the Labour spokesperson for Women has demanded a(nother) “public enquiry” over Lord Rennard.
    There is nothing more sickening than politicians taking the moral high ground

    • Hugh

      Without being a fan of any of the above, there’s a fairly obvious difference between claims of infidelity or promiscuity and sexual harassment, isn’t there?

      • AlanGiles

        I was pointing out that no political party can afford to pretend to be “purer than pure” to coin a phrase. Blunkett even published his squalid diaries to highlight his carryings-on, to make extra money.
        The way some section of Labour are going on (especially the spokesperson on Radio 4 this morning’s “News Briefing” (0530) you would imagine that no Labour figure had ever been caught with his trousers down.
        The real point is, some politicians, like some actors, engineers, authors, whatever profession you care to name, can’t keep their hands to themselves, therefore should we have a “public enquiry” each time one of them transgresses?

        • Hugh

          No, but I think when Nick Clegg is caught shamelessly lying it is asking too much of man not to enjoy it a little.

    • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

      “There is nothing more sickening than politicians taking the moral high ground” 100% agree. Whenever I see anyone in politics (in parliament or out) claiming a moral highground for their own side, it is almost always wholely undeserved, hypocritical and dishonest. I do wish everyone in politics could stop pretending they are more moral than each other – then we might end the silly gamesmanship and just get on with finding actual solutions to our nation’s problems. This Lib Dem stuff is dreadful, and it needs sorting, but I could name one or two women very active in the Labour Party who have been subjected to similar things (I did encourage them to report it) – including at least 1 former MP who only employed attractive researchers and whose hands would often wander. This shouldn’t be a battle for unearned moral highground, it should be a matter of justice for the victims.

Latest

  • News Labour set up rapid rebuttal unit for election campaign

    Labour set up rapid rebuttal unit for election campaign

    Labour plan to step up their media monitoring process in the run up to the 2015 general election, according to The Independent. A team will be in charge of rebutting negative media to avoid a re-run of the 1992 election, where an onslaught of attacks from the press played their part in a unexpected Conservative victory. Michael Dugher, the MP in charge of Labour’s communications, is this week in the US discussing strategy with new appointment David Axelrod and other political […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Englishness is something we should champion, not fear

    Englishness is something we should champion, not fear

    Happy St. George’s Day! You might ask, what does that even mean? – if I said that to you. And my response to that would be: “exactly.” But you know what? I’m proud to be English. Yes, I said it. I like living in England (well, London). I like our sense of humour, many of our institutions, the constant march of secularism, atheism and tolerance (occasional hiccups aside), the over-the-top drinking culture, and our utter mediocrity at most sports. Its […]

    Read more →
  • Featured UKIP, England and St George

    UKIP, England and St George

    Labour tends to view UKIP like Nelson viewed the signal at the Battle of Copenhagen. He held the telescope to his blind eye and said, ‘I really do not see the signal’.  Our image of  UKIP is a protest vehicle for disaffected, older, right wing Tories in the South. But UKIP represents more significant trends than this caricature suggests. UKIP is a symptom of the deep social and economic changes that have taken place over the last thirty years. Its […]

    Read more →
  • Comment England has a radical tradition Labour can embrace

    England has a radical tradition Labour can embrace

    St George’s Day seldom goes by without some features editor asking me to compile a list of things that define Englishness. It’s a pointless task. Top of my list of would be a love of Marmite, yet such a choice would immediately rule out half the population of England. The simple truth is that nations cannot be defined by character alone. It’s those things that we possess that other nations do not that truly define us: our society, our geography, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Is Labour ready to appeal unashamedly to England?

    Is Labour ready to appeal unashamedly to England?

    Is Labour ready to appeal unashamedly to England? Whilst many party members feel (as I do) more British than English, that actually makes it more important to answer the question. Because whilst the Labour Party has in the past decade been more than comfortable in speaking directly to Scotland (something which is obviously in focus at the moment) and Wales (somewhere that is obviously under fire from the Tories at the moment), the same can’t be said about England. Sure, we’ve […]

    Read more →