LIBERAL Democrat peer and strategist Lord Rennard has been suspended from his party, after he refused to apologise to female activists who accused him of inappropriate behaviour.
A party spokesman announced yesterday that Rennard would be investigated for bringing the party into disrepute, after he said he would not apologise in case it was taken as an admission of guilt.
The suspension was announced shortly before Rennard was due to sit with other Lib Dems in the House of Lords, a step which would have embarrassed party leader Nick Clegg.
The former party chief executive has faced an investigation by barrister Alistair Webster QC.
The probe did not find sufficient evidence to kick him out of the party, and its findings have not been disclosed to Rennard.
However, he was still asked to apologise – a step he would not take for fear of jeopardising any future legal action.
“If ever I have hurt, embarrassed or upset anyone, then it would never have been my intention and, of course, I regret that,” he said.
Last night Rennard said he might take civil action against the party.
Kate McCann, Tim Wallace