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Conclusion of Lord Rennard disciplinary process

August 20, 2014 11:07 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Responding to the conclusion of the disciplinary process against Lord Rennard, the Liberal Democrats have released the following statements:

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:

"The Regional Parties Committee met this week to consider whether the party had been brought into disrepute by statements made by Lord Rennard, or on his behalf, following the publication of Alistair Webster's conclusions.

"It decided not to proceed with the disciplinary process against him. This brings the matter to a close and means the suspension of his membership is lifted."

Party President Tim Farron said:

"The Liberal Democrats have worked hard in the last 18 months to fundamentally change the way our party treats these matters.

"We asked Helena Morrissey to review our party's culture and practices and her report helped us to recognise our failings and set about correcting them.

"We have changed our rules and codes of conduct at every level, from grassroots members to parliamentarians so that everyone involved in the party is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

"We have changed how complaints are reported and addressed, and we have appointed a Pastoral Care Officer to help and advise those making a complaint. No one should ever have to feel that their concerns are being dismissed or ignored and I am clear that the Liberal Democrats should become the 'gold standard' for how voluntary organisations treat their members and staff."

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

"The Liberal Democrats have taken a long, hard look in the mirror since these allegations were made last year and I am confident that the party has changed.

"It is clear that a number of women in our party felt let down that the party failed to act on their complaints appropriately. I am determined that no member of our party should find themselves in that position again.

"That's why I immediately appointed Helena Morrissey to carry out a root and branch review of our culture and processes and made sure we acted on her recommendations

"In addition, at my request the Party President and the Federal Executive established a review into our procedures for handling cases such as this to ensure that the party's rules are fit for purpose in the future. This review has now been completed by a senior barrister who has recommended that we make changes to the current criminal burden of proof and these changes will now be taken forward."