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

  • Comment Let’s meet London’s housing need

    Let’s meet London’s housing need

    Meeting London’s housing need – it sounds like a simple idea, but it hasn’t happened for decades. If there is one aim politicians of all parties should meet over the next 5 years, this must be it. It is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the lives of ordinary Londoners. And with political will, a good plan and leadership, it’s possible. As any Londoner knows, London is in the middle of a desperate housing crisis. Young Londoners […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Miliband announces plans to scrap the Lords – and introduce an elected Senate of Nations and Regions

    Miliband announces plans to scrap the Lords – and introduce an elected Senate of Nations and Regions

    In a speech to Labour’s North West regional conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband will announce that a Labour government would abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected Senate. That has (broadly speaking) been Labour policy for some time. But there’s a twist. Miliband wants this new Senate to be a representative body made up of those from all of Britain’s Nations and Regions, as part of a new constitutional settlement to be decided by a constitutional […]

    Read more →
  • News Miliband speaks out on anti-semitic abuse targeted at Luciana Berger – and calls on social media companies to act

    Miliband speaks out on anti-semitic abuse targeted at Luciana Berger – and calls on social media companies to act

    As we reported last week, Labour MP and Shadow Minister Luciana Berger has been the victim of a sustained torrent of disgusting online anti-semtic abuse. Ed Miliband has hit out at Berger’s abusers today, calling on social media companies to be more proactive in tackling sustained, orchestrated abuse. He told Jewish News: “The anti-Semitic abuse that Luciana Berger has experienced over recent days is utterly appalling and has absolutely no place in our country. We must have no tolerance for this vile […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers

    The debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers

    Big numbers abound in housing debates and rightly so. Two-hundred thousand new homes – the number the Labour frontbench has committed to building annually – is a response to the housing crisis that is starting to approach the scale we need. But the debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers. To make the point, look at the extreme case of ‘buy-to-leave’ homes that are bought off-plan as investors’ latest fancy and sit there empty in […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The mansion tax is a progressive tax and Labour in London should support it

    The mansion tax is a progressive tax and Labour in London should support it

    For those of us who believe in progressive taxation the last few weeks in London Labour have been pretty dismal. We seem to have an array of Labour MPs (mainly wannabe London mayoral candidates) and council leaders rushing to the press denouncing the proposed mansion tax as a’ tax on London’ (or if they were more honest a tax on the rich parts of London). Yes the promotion of the Mansion Tax has been inept and it would more accurate […]

    Read more →