This follows news that Scotland Yard will investigate the sexual harassment allegations made against Lord Rennard. This statement has been released via a spokesman:
Lord Rennard refutes these allegations. He will co-operate with any properly constituted inquiry.
He has been notified of an internal investigatory panel within the Party. The matter must now be regarded as sub judice pending its proceedings and no further statement will be issued in the interim.
He expects others to respect the sub judice principle, and 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 denies impropriety.
He would reiterate that in 27 years of working for the Liberal Democrats he received no complaint or allegation about his behaviour.
Nor is he aware of any personal complaints being made in the three and a half years since he stood down as chief executive until last week.
Our reporter James Waterson wrote this:
The news came as a former party insider told City A.M. that female Lib Dems decided to go public with their claims against Lord Rennard after the peer was allowed to return to an active role in the party.
The source told City A.M. that they were contacted by two female party members in early 2009. The women wanted to seek publicity for their claims after becoming exasperated with the party’s internal response to allegations about the peer.
“There was frustration that the party wasn’t doing anything about it and they felt it was not being treated seriously and in a hapless way,” the former official claimed yesterday.