It sounds like Lord Rennard has been a bit of a naughty boy. On hearing of this latest “scandal” I was convinced it was going to be of the “Benny Hill” nature, complete with daft background music. How wrong I was. It’s actually rather serious.
For those of you with no idea of who Lord Rennard is (I include myself in that bracket) here’s a quick refresher. He’s the former chief executive of Britain’s third political party, or as they are known at the moment, part of the coalition government. Yes, it’s those Liberal Democrats again. Christopher John Rennard, Baron Rennard, The Lord Rennard, take your pick really. Obviously with titles like those he’s a member of the House Of Lords, the unelected chamber of the British Parliament. He’s 52, hails from Liverpool, has been involved in the higher echelons of the party for decades, and if multiple female sources are to be believed, he’s a borderline sex pest.
The official title of his alleged behavior is “inappropriate”. Basically, he supposedly likes to proposition potential parliamentary candidates at conferences, using his influence as a big wig in the party to seal the deal. After news of this first came to light last week, up to 10 women have come forward with claims against him. The police are taking a keen interest, as is his party, who can’t afford many more damaging headlines in the wake of Chris Huhne’s very public fall from grace.
For Rennard’s part he strongly denies all the allegations, and from reading his statement which ends with, “he notes that under the party rules concerned it is for any case made against him to be proved by evidence to the requisite standard”, he believes there won’t be any evidence.
Even so, he has stepped aside from the Liberal Democrats in the Lords for the time being so as to not cause “embarrassment” to the party. Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, once again the damage has almost certainly been done. The story may get even worse if rumors about the culture within the party are proved true. You may want to expect further “naughty boy” stories to come to light soon.